Sunday, January 23, 2011

The editors play it straight

President Barack Obama gives his State of the ...Image via Wikipedia
The State of the Union address in January 2010.

How did Editor Francis Scandale keep a straight face when he ran a front-page story today on a salary gender gap at charities?

Didn't he and Features Director Barbara Jaeger OK a $70,000 starting salary for a new food editor in 2006 -- a man in his very early 30s who had no food editing experience? And wasn't that thousands of dollars higher than the salary of a woman who was hounded into retirement after more than 20 years as food editor of The Record and another newspaper?

Does anyone believe the disparate salaries of Bill Pitcher and Patricia Mack are the only examples of a gender gap at the Borg family's North Jersey Media Group, which has fought the unions and kept staff salaries secret at all costs over the years?

And how did Scandale keep a straight face when he totally dominated Page 1 of the Woodland Park daily with coverage of Jets fans traveling to today's Super Bowl playoff game?

Sure, the Jets deserve a part of the front page, but why assign one of the most talentless reporters on the entire staff to the story? 

Staff Writer John Brennan's breathless first paragraphs report, to paraphrase: A lot of Jets fans arrived in Pittsburgh on Saturday, but they're having a hard time finding their way around the big city. Duh. 

A correction on A-2 today says the incorrect day was given "in some editions" for President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

We roam the state

At the top of Local, a power broker from Cherry Hill is today's 2011 PEOPLE TO WATCH, "brought to you by" Benzel-Bush Motor Car Corp. in Englewood. It's strange that the ad above the fold is "local," while the person to watch is far from it.

A story about Harrington Park appears on L-7 today, in a section without news of Teaneck, Englewood and many other larger towns. Is that because head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes lives there?

Living by bread alone

On the Better Living front, "The Corner Table" column by Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung tells us what goes into the basket of bread served in good restaurants. What great reporting went into this column.

Do you think subsequent columns will tell readers whether the chicken most places serve is raised with antibiotics, whether the meat is pumped up with growth hormones and whether the farmed salmon is artificially colored?

Hunger or obesity?

An editorial on Page O-2 praises first lady Mary Pat Christie for helping to fight hunger in New Jersey, though it's apparent she's not diverting food from the governor's table (see photo of him on O-3).

And, of course, the editorial ignores why New Jersey's first couple aren't fighting obesity, too.

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