Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Two editors discuss the Local News budget

Trash Pick-up DayImage by Let Ideas Compete via Flickr
Some Allendale residents argue curbside garbage pickup lowers property values.

A layout editor who had to fill six pages in today's Local section sat down Monday with a flunky from the desk run (into the ground) by head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes.

"We really have a strong lead for the section. Get this. A guy admitted five bank robberies, but he surrendered at the wrong police station. Isn't that a hoot?"

The layout editor breaks out in a cold sweat, "That's your lead?"

"Then, we've got Stile calling the 4.4% property tax hike in North Jersey last year "a blot" on the first year of the Christie administration, and explaining it exceeds the 3.3% increase in the last year of Corzine."

The layout editor: "That's good. I thought you might give me Chick's 15th column on roof snow this winter. What about municipal news? My uncle lives in Hackensack and asked me about the budget and tax rate."

"Hackensack? This is now The Record of Woodland Park. Deirdre says we left the place behind years ago. Besides, we can't find Monsy [Alvarado]. OK. for L-2 we have health-care news, because we can't generate enough local news for that page.

"Also on L-1, we don't have any Fair Lawn or Edgewater municipal news, but we've got a student from the former talking to an astronaut and the funeral of the mayor from the other town."

The layout editor. "I hope these mayors keep on dying off or I don't know what I'd put on L-1."

The assignment editor: "L-3 is your continuation page from the Local front, plus fire and court news from Passaic County. We can't find Kibret [Markos]. Then, you've got three pages of death notices with two expanded local obits and the obit of a jazz drummer. That's it. Another great section."

Flooding editorial

An editorial on A-10 today asks readers to accept what they can't change: Flooding is "a fact of life." Just like readers have to accept Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin glossing over decades of official inaction.

Unpublished correction

Staff Writer Allison Pries, who covers Allendale, reported in the lead of her story on L-6 last Thursday officials are again considering the elimination of "side-yard garbage pickup," even though a few paragraphs later, she quotes the mayor on "rear yard" and "curbside."

A subsequent story and an editorial today (A-10) urges the town to end rear-yard pickups.

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