Saturday, March 19, 2011

Road Warrior screws up in Page 1 column

Greyhound coach built by Motor Coach Industrie...Image via Wikipedia
A correction on an A-1 Road Warrior column highlights an ongoing problem with accuracy.

Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski's biggest failure as a journalist is ignoring the plight of tens of thousands of North Jersey commuters who use crowded buses and trains -- while churning out a mind-numbing series of stories on the problems of drivers.

You'd think he is in the pocket of all of the automobile dealers who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in The Record of Woodland Park, including the many pages that made today's paper so fat.

A correction on A-2 today throws a spotlight on his accuracy:


The Road Warrior column on Page A-1 on Friday about motor coach safety incorrectly identified a Haledon company that had an alert placed on its record by the federal government. The name of the company is Charter Coach & Travel LLC.

I can't stand reading most of Cichowski's tortured prose, so had to go looking for how the company name was rendered in the paper on Friday. I finally found it, on the continuation page (A-10): "Carter's Coach."

Carter's Coach isn't even close to the correct name. How many other errors has Cichowski made over the years that were never corrected?

Judging from what I hear from readers and from my own experience in editing his columns for many years, Cichowski makes quite a few errors that are either caught on the news copy desk or get into the paper and are never corrected.

Even today's correction is flawed. The word "alert" should have been written "ALERT," as it was in Friday's story, signifying "warning evaluations" for "unsatisfactory performance" from the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration.

Disaster in Japan

Editor Francis Scandale keeps on squeezing as much as possible out of the sister-city relationship between Glen Rock, where he lives, and Onomachi, Japan (A-1). 

Today, free-lance Columnist Pat Kinney was taken out of mothballs for the second time since the quake hit a week ago Friday (L-3). 

Among the many angles Scandale has overlooked is publishing a profile of the Japanese community in North Jersey. 

Right now, all readers might know from reading Kinney is her oft-repeated statement that most Japanese families live here temporarily during the husband's job posting.

An enduring mystery is why head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes hasn't asked the only  Japanese staffer in the newsroom, feature writer Sachi Fujimori -- who can do it all -- to help out  or even why Fujimori wasn't sent to Japan to cover the big story.

The assignment wouldn't be that expensive for the paper, especially if she can hitch a ride on Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg's private jet.
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  1. Fujimori Shmujimori, give it a couple of days, or weeks, and the paper will be sending Mike Kelly and Carmine Galasso to Japan. And I'm sure Mike's prose will be glowing, for obvious reasons.


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