Thursday, February 3, 2011

Picture a dysfunctional assignment desk

366 • 25 • Coffee and newsImage by Pragmagraphr via Flickr
The Record's assignment editors read a lot of competing papers to get ideas.

Editor Francis Scandale's desperation is clear today with the ho-hum photo of a small fire on a utility pole as the major Page 1 art.

With pedestrians slip-sliding all over the place, cars smacking into each other on icy roads, government-backed thugs battling protesters in Cairo -- there were so many other photo possibilities. Why this? 

Waiting for spring

Has the assignment desk run out of ideas? Are head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and minions Dan Sforza, Christina Joseph, Rich Whitby, etc. hunkering down to wait for spring?

The Page 1 story in the package with that utility pole fire is stiffly written by reporter Colleen Diskin, who reels off "life-management skills, "elastic child-care arrangements" and other jargon in telling the story of parents scrambling to handle weather-related school-opening delays, early dismissals and closings. 

Smoking out news

Kibret Markos, the reporter assigned to the busy Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, should be applauded for writing about something besides the usual trials, indictments and lawsuits -- most of which he misses while on smoking breaks outside the Main Street entrance to the building. 

Today, he leads the paper with launching of The Last Resort Exoneration Project for wrongly convicted inmates in New Jersey -- ahead of the official announcement. Why the quote marks around the project name on A-1?

Clean-out of the troubled, smelly Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners continues and The Record of Woodland Park continues to play it on A-1. A rare, fourth story on the front is another Charles Stile column on political slush funds.

Editors bite readers

Two stories that are of much wider interest than the political ones are relegated to A-3: toll hikes and computer problems affecting the unemployed and customers at motor vehicle agency offices.

Is that all Sykes had to lead her section -- a follow-up on the Fair Lawn man who got bit by his pet cobra? He was instantly forgettable. (A correction on A-2 notes the four reporters who worked on the A-1 cobra-bite article Wednesday misspelled the name of an expert they quoted.)

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.