Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Don't write yourself into the story

Mozzarella cheeseImage via Wikipedia

Do you think several readers might have gotten lost in Englewood yesterday and today, looking for Jerry's Gourmet & More, which was featured in the Better Living section on Tuesday? The reporter was so intent on making himself part of the story, he forgot to include the address and telephone number.

This was one of the most amateurish stories ever written by Rob Bieselin, a young reporter still struggling to master his craft. There is way too much first-person in this poorly written tale about the man who makes fresh mozzarella at the store. But it's what readers have come to expect from Bieselin, who was a mall clothing salesman before he became a Record news clerk. (I knew Rob when I was at The Record and he is a nice guy. But that's not enough, if you want to be a journalist.)

Maybe The Record was trying to make up for virtually ignoring Jerry's since it opened 18 years ago. Last year, it completely omitted the wildly popular Italian specialty store from a story on free food samples at markets, and Jerry's is one of the most generous in that regard.

When a huge street project in front of the store dragged on for months and months, and business at Jerry's dropped dramatically, then-Englewood reporter Maya Kremen couldn't even muster the energy to visit the place and write a story.

Jerry's Gourmet & More, 410 S. Dean St., Englewood; 
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