|Editor Francis Scandale was set to make a rare public appearance today.|
Friday, May 20, 2011
Access to editor comes at a price
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Editor Francis Scandale was scheduled to appear this morning at a "Meet the Media Event" and hear story ideas pitched to him by the public. Tickets to the event were $65 to $105.
"Attendees will have the opportunity to present story ideas directly to North Jersey media representatives," according to a brief that ran Wednesday on Page L-9 in The Record of Woodland Park.
He was not named in the item. Most of the other media representatives at the event were from TV, including My 9 News and Telemundo.
The event, at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in East Rutherford, was sponsored by the Fair Media Council, a business group. Scandale was not paid to appear, the group said.
The Fair Media Council is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, founded in 1979, and comprised of about 200 New York-metro businesses "who understand quality local news is vital to maintaining the health, well being and vitality of the region in which they live and do business," according to the group's Web site.
"The power of local news is an awesome force," the council says, adding:.
"At its worst, news is the problem. Inaccurate coverage creates problems that don't really exist. A lack of coverage enables issues to escalate. When erroneous messages and perceptions are relayed to the public in the press, the news has the incredible ability to close minds.
"At its best, news opens the door to the world. It educates, even inspires ... and is the first step toward a solution, whatever the issue, wherever the town."
Out of ideas
Does Scandale's appearance at a "Meet the Media" event mean he is officially out of story ideas and can no longer rely on head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her clueless minions?
The Fair Media Council was started in 1979, yet I have never heard of it. If it represents about 200 businesses, isn't it a glorified public relations agency?
The Record already is filled with stories promoting businesses and books -- little more than cleverly disguised advertising -- and the occasional piece on a wealthy lawyer or private-jet saleswoman who does business with the Borg family.
How much more disservice should readers expect from Publisher Stephen A. Borg, a marketing whiz who supplanted Scandale and made over the paper in his own entrepreneurial image?
Scandale, Sykes and the staff couldn't overcome their inertia to report local reaction among North Jersey Jews and Arabs to President Obama's vision for peace in the Middle East, a story that leads the paper today.
Why use a photo from Ramallah on A-8, when there are plenty of Palestinian businesses in South Paterson?
On A-2 today, the accuracy-challenged Better Living section fixes an incorrect address for a pancake house in Paramus.
What would Scandale and Sykes do for news if they didn't have college graduations to plaster all over the paper (L-1)?
Sykes is mulling whether to tell readers that a computer has been writing the Road Warrior's L-1 column for more years than she cares to admit by synthesizing and regurgitating hundreds of columns by Staff Writer John Cichowski, who now is living in his car, "Mr. Honda."
The Swiss must have holes in their heads, as well as in their cheese, if they picked Tenafly for a satellite-controlled clock like the ones in use at 3,000 railway stations in Switzerland (L-1)
Gas-guzzling Tenafly officials and residents are fighting tooth and nail to stop extension of electrified light-rail service to the borough.