Monday, October 11, 2010

Teen texting trumps sex

Seagulls matingImage via Wikipedia
Seagulls mating. So that's how they do it.

Imagine you're the editor of The Record of Woodland Park. You have a "recent survey" that found  43% of teens 13-17 text in class. You also have the CDC's 2009 "National Youth Risk Behavior Survey" that says 46.3% of teens have had sexual intercourse and 34.5% didn't use a condom the last time they had sex.

Of course, if you read the paper today, you know what Francis "Dumb" Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre "Dumber" Sykes did: The texting story is all over Page 1, while the sex statistics are relegated to an L-1 graphic, "a weekly look at health issues in New Jersey." 

Those two are getting dumber the longer they keep their jobs. They remind me of the driverless cars Google has been testing: The Record itself is rudderless, with absentee owners more concerned with their lifestyles than their paper's journalism.

At the bottom of Page 1 today, a story on the foreclosure freeze was pulled off the wire, and the exciting photo that runs with it shows a real estate agent in Orlando, Fla., which presumably has been annexed by North Jersey. I scanned the story, but couldn't find the words "New Jersey" anywhere in it.

Hackensack reporter Monsy Alvarado emerged from hibernation to file a story on legal maneuvering by one of the cops charged with disciplinary violations by Police Chief Ken Zisa before he was suspended. Lo and behold, this compelling account of Zisa being subpoenaed leads Sykes' thin Local news section today.

Teaneck, Englewood, Westwood, Ridgewood -- all are in a deep slumber and not generating news.

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