Monday, November 30, 2009

Ray of hope for readers?

The System's Weight atop Rob Ferguson

More than a month after a new shelter opened in Hackensack and centralized services for the homeless, The Record of Woodland Park finally has taken notice.

On the Local section front today, we learn the innovative county shelter on River Street allows the homeless to stay there until they secure permanent housing and to use a number of private agency services that were previously scattered. Does the shelter's placement next to the county jail bother the homeless? The article doesn't say.

All the space devoted to the murderous father, on the front page and in the Local section, only serves to highlight how the former Hackensack daily has failed repeatedly to explore the human impact of the recession before people finally lose it, while obsessively reporting  housing starts, foreclosures and other cold, recessionary data.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands of dollars of staff time has been sucked up by an "investigation" into one man that is close to marking its third anniversary, without a single article published.

With the apparent backing of the Borg family, incompetent editors and hapless reporters -- including the poor woman who is supposed to be covering Hackensack --  have been screwing around for years trying to find something publishable about a single law enforcement official who never even rose to the rank of police chief or country prosecutor, according to talk in the newsroom before I left The Record.

And while this so-called investigation continues, with no end in sight, Publisher Stephen A. Borg, Editors Frank Scandale, Frank Burgos, Deirdre "Laughs A Lot" Sykes and  Tim Nostrand; and a bunch of sub-editors say to the readers in Hackensack and all the other towns that are no longer covered -- all together now -- Up yours!
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