Sunday, March 20, 2011

ADD knocks disaster in Japan off front page

The Rock, Glen Rock, NJImage by birdphone via Flickr
Rock Road in Glen Rock. This is the size of the rock in Editor Francis Scandale's head. 

It took only about eight days for Editor Francis Scandale and all the other editors at The Record with attention-deficit disorder to find an excuse to knock the disaster in Japan off Page 1 today. It's buried on A-14.

Reporters and photographers presumably had complained about how exhausted they were leaving the Woodland Park newsroom in search of the Japanese who live in North Jersey -- as the clueless assignment desk under Editor Deirdre Sykes tried desperately to localize the story. 

King-size and then some

We know Governor Cristie is in bed with all the police chiefs whose salaries aren't capped, but now we find out the mattress must be the size of Hackensack to accommodate all of those snobby charter school officials (A-1).

Food prices have been rising for several weeks now, so the news copy desk is from hunger with that outdated head on A-1 today: "Higher food prices coming your way."

Office-loving columnist

You know by today's L-1 Road Warrior column that Staff Writer John Cichowski has never spoken to NJ Transit bus drivers who compete with all of those privately owned commuter vans. 

They're grateful for the help, because the bigger buses are standing-room-only during the rush hour and simply can't accommodate more passengers.

Sour-grapes journalism

In the years after Scandale left The Denver Post for The Record (2001), the former Hackensack daily always seemed to carry an inordinate number of stories about the Mile High City.

Glen Rock Honor Roll, Glen Rock, NJImage by birdphone via Flickr

Scandale moved to Glen Rock then, because he couldn't afford Ridgewood on his six-figure salary. 

The other day, he discovered Glen Rock has a sister city in Japan, and milked that for three days. Today, Glen Rock's talented youth are all over the Better Living front. So is Ridgewood talent-less?

What's next? Glen Rock as the ideal American town? 

Fractured writing

Reporter Jean Rimbach writes infrequently, but she really breaks news when she does, as in today's L-2 story, which reports that Gore Vidal, Barbie, King George III and the Rolling Stones -- all go to high school in New Jersey.

Here's her lede:

"From Gore Vidal to Barbie, King George III to the Rolling Stones, teenagers from around the Garden State tested their knowledge on an eclectic array of history questions Saturday in an academic competition at Ridgewood High School."
I guess the news copy editors -- who are treated like shit by Scandale, Sykes and the other dayside editors -- deliberately overlook such obvious errors so that Rimbach and other bad writers look like fools.

Either that or they're asleep.


  1. The cutline for the "Supermoon" photo on L-1 is a doozy. First, "perigee" is defined as "closest" so "closest perigee" is meaningless. The moon has a perigee to Earth EVERY year. The significance of this one was that it was the closest in 20 years. Not very illuminating to readers at all.

  2. And likely required no heavy lifting, no travel or climbing to a high point for the photo.

    It was taken from Woodland Park, probably from on the roof of the bank office building that houses the newsroom and headquarters of NJMG, where the Borg sibs rub their hands together over how much they are diverting to their lavish lifestyle and their legal fund.

  3. I'm surprised the copy editor who wrote that cutline didn't get called on the carpet -- not for writing a caption with a redundancy, but for using a work that 50 percent of Record readers (okay, I'm being kind), not to mention the publisher and Frankie S., had to look up. (okay, okay, and me too)

  4. Since four or five copy editors left as part of a downsizing and merger, including Co-Slot Nancy Cherry, and error-prone Liz Houlton took over as production director, the standards of the news copy desk have disappeared.

    Once the authority in the newsroom and the chief source of damage-control, the desk now is a group of marginalized copy editors happy to be collecting a paycheck.

  5. In a nod to Brazil's favorite sport, he then kicked a soccer ball around with youngsters outside as security guards scanned the area from the rooftops of dilapidated buildings.

    Obama demonstrated a few neat kicks of his own. "Can you dribble it?" he asked one boy, who then tapped the ball a few times in the air on one foot.

  6. You're responding to my comment on the photo of President Obama with a soccer ball in Brazil in the post of Monday, March 21, 2011.


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