Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another puzzler from Liz Houlton's copy desk

The Mississippi River just north of St. Louis ...Image via Wikipedia
Deirdre Sykes' assignment desk is the laziest east of the Mississippi River.

Giving the disabled full access to public parks and nature areas is a worthy story, though I don't agree with Editor Francis Scandale that it should be Page 1 news today.

And the main headline over the story makes you wonder if Liz Houlton's news copy editors sleep on cots in The Record's Woodland Park newsroom, and never get to explore North Jersey.

Equal access for the disabled 
not easy in the wild

"The wild"? Where is that, in their imaginations? Is there any "wild" left in the region? 

Who approved that head? What's wrong with using the word "parkland," which appears in the lead paragraph?

Houlton is the production editor and in putting out the paper each night, she has left a steady trail of typos, and lame and inaccurate headlines, and photo captions.

Instead of enforcing the paper's style and editing stories for clarity and accuracy, the news copy editors have been reduced to the role of spell checkers.

Hail Christie

Governor Christie continues a public relations tour to repair his image -- in the wake of deep budget cuts and his refusal to raise taxes on millionaires -- and the paper faithfully quotes his self-serving pronouncements (A-3).

There is no truth to the rumor the governor has petitioned the courts to allow him to add a "t" to his first name: "Christ."

New Mahwah mall?

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' minions have been closely watching the controversy over rezoning 100 acres in Mahwah for commercial development (L-1), but Local hasn't breathed a word about the future of North Jersey Media Group's 20 acres along River Street in Hackensack.

The big story on L-1 today is about a bridge in Ho-Ho-Kus, but where's the update on replacement of the Court Street Bridge in Hackensack?

Local news columns are filled with police news, not municipal news of Teaneck, Englewood and other towns.

This helps cement the assignment desk's reputation as the laziest east of the Mississippi River.

Dumbing down

In a restaurant review  on Friday, Staff Writer Elisa Ung describes Honey Mediterranean Gourmet and Market as a "little dining room attached to [a] Persian grocery store."

Then, she treats readers as if they are simpletons by adding the Teaneck restaurant wouldn't be "appropriate for anyone looking for a more formal setting."

Why not use that space for telling readers whether the place serves organic or naturally raised food -- not for stating the obvious?

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