Friday, December 11, 2009
A modest proposal
The Metropolitan Diary has been running in The New York Times for decades, giving voice to city residents who want to share a funny, poignant or other observation with readers. I always love how contributors often go to the heart of what it means to live in New York. The other day, I heard about a driver who looked over and saw the man in the next car playing the trumpet -- with both hands.
Why doesn't The Record of Woodland Park open its columns to North Jersey residents who want to contribute to a Suburban Diary? This would be a repository of all those funny or maddening situations we come across on our roads, in our malls and supermarkets, and elsewhere -- complete with dialogue -- situations reporters are not encouraged to look for and report.
Good writing and keen observation aren't the monopoly of newspaper reporters, especially at The Record, where some of the reporters only leave the office to go home and struggle every day with writing well, and where the assignment editors who try to repair their stories are far from eloquent.
So why not have an interactive feature such as a Suburban Diary that gives readers a voice and the opportunity to share their daily stories with more than family and friends? And reporters could occasionally contribute items that don't quite make a story, but tell us a lot about North Jersey, though the column ultimately would be the province of readers and residents.