Thursday, April 28, 2011

More lessons in bad journalism

Costello1Image via Wikipedia
Readers who once laughed at Lou Costello now are laughing at The Record.

How could The Record's front page promise "full coverage of school board elections" today when it never published the candidates' positions on issues facing districts?

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes couldn't muster the energy or staff to brief readers before Tuesday's election -- something the paper had been doing for decades -- so they were forced to rely on campaign literature. 

Basically, she told them to vote blind.

How about the three standard photos of voters and a kid at the polls (A-1 and A-8). They are as exciting as watching paint dry.

Language barrier

Another A-1 story in the Woodland Park daily reports a group of students from the Dominican Republic got a democracy lesson in Passaic County. 

If readers managed to get through the story, they realize the reporter also needs a lesson -- in the English language.

Staff Writer Richard Cowen, who is no novice, reports the students showed up at a freeholders meeting "dressed in formal attire" (A-5). Does he mean tuxedos and gowns or just suits and dresses? 

Errors 'R' Us

On Wednesday, a Page 1 story by Staff Writer John Gavin peddled the preposterous notion that a train station would be an invasion of nearby residents' privacy. 

The reporter said one man lived a "few feet" from the proposed station in Wood-Ridge. Is that even possible? Three feet from the proposed stop?  He must be homeless.

On A-2 today, an embarrassing correction notes Wednesday's lead story made two serious errors.

Snow job

Former Gov. Jim McGreevey and folk-jazz singer Phoebe Snow couldn't be more different, so how could Mike Kelly lump them in the same L-1 column today?

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