Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Insulting readers' intelligence -- every day

ISHINOMAKI, JAPAN - MARCH 18: A man walks past...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Another boat that "drifted" into Ishinomaki, Japan.

A dramatic photo on Page 1 of The Record today is ruined by a caption that wastes space by stating the obvious. 

A large boat with a red hull ended up in the middle of Ishinomaki, Japan, and unless you have been on the moon, you know why. But the news copy editor felt a need to explain, then blew it by writing, "a boat that drifted into town during the tsunami." 

Drifed? That's absolutely the wrong word -- something readers are accustomed to with the Woodland Park daily. How many sets of eyes saw this?

On Monday, a copy editor tried to explain what President Obama was doing with a soccer ball in Brazil. The A-4 photo caption said "dribbling," I thought he was "kicking" it, but does it matter? There's no need to tell readers what they can plainly see for themselves -- Obama playing soccer with kids.

This point was hammered home every night by News Copy Desk Co-Slot Nancy Cherry, but she left the paper more than two years ago and nobody has taken up the slack.

Publisher Stephen A. Borg and his editors folded sections, but they have failed miserably on their pledge to give readers education, food and other news "every day."

What readers are getting "every day" is a mediocre paper. It's no surprise, with Editor Frank Scandale, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and their minions just collecting a pay check every week.

Double editorial standard

An editorial on A-10 today slams Governor Christie for a double standard on pay for public school superintendents and charter school administrators, but says nothing about the hundreds of police chiefs whose salaries exceed the governor's $175,000 a year.

Year after year, reporters cover fires in Paterson and the paper prints dramatic photos of flames and tenants driven into the cold (L-6), but the editors never ask, Who owns all these fire traps?

Gobble, gobble

"I had no trouble gobbling it down," Staff Writer Bill Ervolino says of the free plate of whole wheat linguine with the house marinara he enjoyed at Park and Orchard in East Rutherford (F-1).  

He's a real sport, never turning down a freebie, and he has plenty of company on the staff, including Travel Editor Jill Schensul, Graphics Editor Jerry Luciani and Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill.

He loves Teterboro

There is no truth to a rumor that Malcom A. "Mac" Borg is planning to sell his shares of North Jersey Media Group and move to England. Borg just learned that country's chancellor is pushing a tax on private-jet travel.
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