Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Editors continue to soil their clothes

World Trade Center: View from HobokenImage by wallyg via Flickr
Water will fill the void left by destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Today's Page 1 story about a driver and driver's aide who forgot about a 4-year-old trapped on a school bus reminds me of how Publisher Stephen A. Borg took over in mid-2006 and forgot all about the editors trapped in the newsroom.

And like the boy, who urinated in his pants, Editors Francis Scandale, Deirdre Sykes, Barbara Jaeger, Liz Houlton, Tim Nostrand and others repeatedly soil their clothes in a journalistic sense with crappy reporting and writing -- leaving many readers howling in disbelief. 

Pipe dreams

The main element today likely is the first time a story about plumbing (for the 9/11 memorial waterfalls) has been splashed all over the front page of The Record of Woodland Park.

But you have to plow through all the reporting on nuts, bolts and pipes, and gee-whiz statistics before you learn -- deep into the text on the continuation page (A-6) -- that Staff Writer Shawn Boburg buried the human, emotional story of how one plumber's mother died in the Twin Towers on 9/11. 

The story also is silent on why hundreds of solar panels weren't incorporated into the design to drastically cut the estimated $1.7 million annual cost of electricity to move all that water. Or why plumbers charge so much.

Who is Boburg's clueless assignment editor?

Let's make a deal

Governor Christie is gambling that even legal bills of $3 million to $4 million would be justified, if he can get the Feds to accept half or a third of the $271 million debt left from the Hudson River rial tunnels he stopped dead in their tracks (A-1).

New Jersey lawmakers now are following the example of their counterparts in Wisconsin -- they're refusing to act on Christie's legislative initiatives -- pissing off the Republican bully (A-4). 

Baseball justice

A letter to the editor from Howard Shaw of Rutherford asks if Judge Donald Venezia was wearing a Mets or Yankee shirt under his robes when he gave Dwight Gooden a get-out-of-jail card for DUI driving with his 5-year-old in the back seat (A-10). 

Should Venezia be censured by the Supreme Court? Did the reporter who covered the April 15 hearing ask prosecutors if they could appeal the ruling?

Shell-shocked readers

You know the Local news report is in trouble, when Sykes has to put on her front page a story about a Northvale man who found a bazooka shell in his garage. 

Road Warrior John Cichowski writes another column from the comfort of his computer chair -- an AAA report on the cost of driving a car (L-1). 

Chick has asked Sykes for a cot and small refrigerator to make his long office stays more comfortable.

In place of municipal news, readers get a lot of police news and court stories throughout Local today.

Dishonest reporting

In a Better Living story on pitching your book idea in Ridgewood that ran Tuesday, Staff Writer Mike Kerwick fails to tell readers you have to buy a copy of "The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published" in order to qualify.

According to Bookends, only 20 people who buy the book will be able to pitch their ideas in person to the authors and a "major" publisher. That information also was missing from the story.

Life is easy for Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill, whose entire job seems to be publishing a single recipe on Wednesdays (F-1), plus writing a few items for the Second Helpings blog and tweeting her brains out.
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  1. Anything has to be an improvement over what they had before Susan.

  2. I don't agree. She does less work than Bill Pitcher, if you can imagine that.

    Food coverage has been all downhill since Patricia Mack was forced to retire in 2006.

    And to think, Stephen Borg promised food coverage "every day" after he folded the Food Section. Boy, can he blow smoke.

  3. Do they still do exactly the same job as Mrs Mack?

  4. No way. She put out an entire Food Section, not a story now and then, and she did it for many years.

    Patricia Mack is a pro and she is still going strong as a freelancer and editor.

  5. I mean is the work the same? Do they have the same work description or has the job changed? I'm wondering if your comparison is apples to apples or apples to oranges. If Susan Sherrill is also incharge of science and music and other things, which I imagine she is, your comparison may kit be fair.

  6. Sherrill apparently still write about food for (201) magazine, but she certainly isn't in charge of "science and music" at The Record.

    If you compare her to Patricia Mack, who was the food editor at The Record until 2006, you could bring Sherrill up on charges of dereliction of duty.

  7. Bit what are her duties? Do you know? I imagine they have changed since Patricia Mack left. Look around this place, Victor. There aren't a lot of editors left in features. Somebody must be doing the work Stu Brann, Thoeden and the others were doing.

  8. I can only guess what her duties are from what I see in the paper, on Second Helpings and on her Twitter account.

    Is she assigning the food stories that Sachi and Kara are writing, does she consult with the dessert-obsessed Elisa Ung? I really don't know.

    Unlike Patricia Mack, she doesn't have a section to put every week. So food coverage has diminished in importance.

    She gets a lot of free food and free cookbooks, rubs shoulders with celebrity chefs and eats at the James Beard House. And she has a second house in Maine.

    It's the good life, but it doesn't translate into much for readers.


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