Sunday, July 31, 2011

Readers want fresh voices for old columns

NJ Transit Newark Light Rail #104 crossing Bro...Image via Wikipedia
North Jersey's future lies in transit -- not cars -- but The Record publishes negative stories or simply ignores problems facing bus and rail users.

Do columns in The Record have to go on forever, especially when the writers ran out of ideas months or years ago?

Staff Writer John Cichowski succeeded Jeff Page as the Road Warrior in late 2003, but he's no Jeff Page.

He soon became obsessed with the problems of drivers to the exclusion of all other commuters, especially those who use mass transit, and often his advice is inaccurate.

This incredibly lazy reporter fizzled out quickly, compared to Page, who wrote the column for 13 years.

His column today isn't even about drivers (L-1). 

Sign off, Chick

Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, who picked Cichowski to write the column, need to give him the heave-ho. 

Bust him back to reporter and get his ass out of the office.

Allow another writer to take over the column, especially one who will become an advocate for public-transit users in one of the most congested regions of the country.

The same goes for Columnists Mike Kelly (20 years), Bill Ervolino (10-plus years), Kevin DeMarrais (17 years) and Elisa Ung. 

Readers want to hear fresh voices that reflect their concerns.

Food for thought

DeMarrais is the only consumer columnist at the Woodland Park daily, and I've long admired his work, plus he's the only reporter who writes about food shopping.

But he is stuck in the past, refusing to add organic and naturally raised food to his monthly Marketbasket Survey of supermarket prices.

DeMarrais also destroyed his credibility with a February 2011 column about a wealthy woman who sells $10 million to $50 million business jets by omitting the name of one of her prominent customers: Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg.

Ung, the restaurant reviewer since 2007, also writes a Sunday column called The Corner Table, which is supposed to represent the customer's point of view.

But she ran out of ideas long ago, and seems reluctant to ask restaurant owners hard questions about the origin of the food they serve, the prices they charge and the slave wages they pay their servers.

In fact, Ung devotes too many of her columns to glorifying restaurant owners, chefs and food producers, such as today's piece on a Fort Lee man who produces pricey, controversial foie gras (F-1).

Kelly and Ervolino could be much more effective as reporters. Their columns are more annoying than all those business jets heading for Teterboro Airport.

Kelly has been pushing words around for years. Ervolino is what, in his 50s? His single lifestyle is pathetic, not funny.

Today's paper

Scandale's front page today is dreadful, especially for a Sunday paper.

A Page 1 photo of the Giants quarterback? Boy, I'm glad the world is safe again.

The two local A-1 stories -- one on high-tech 911 hoaxes and the other on public insurance adjusters -- couldn't be duller, and the assignment editors seem only to have spell-checked them before sending them on to the news copy desk.

The story on adjusters doesn't even answer an obvious question: If you have a good insurance company, do you even need a public adjuster?

Staff Writer Shawn Boburg doesn't discuss incompetent police work as a factor in the hoaxes.

In Sykes' Local section, you won't find any Hackensack, Englewood or Teaneck news.

See below: Bill Maher on Governor Christie

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.