Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bear editor attacks readers

Picture of a black bear yearling at Glacier Ba...Image via Wikipedia
A black bear yearling in Alaska.

At times, The Record has covered bears, bear hunts and related stories better than it has covered Hackensack, Englewood, Teaneck and a lot of other towns.

So, Editor Francis Scandale, if you're going to lead the paper with a sensational bear story, as you do today, make it a good one.

The story by Staff Writer James M. O'Neill is OK, but not as good as the report I saw on the TV news last night (A-1).

The Record story is missing a crucial detail, which was contained in the TV report:  The bear tried to drag at least one of the boys out of his tent. 

And when will the editors stop running a photo of two officers who are standing around and bullshitting, and write a caption saying they are "patrolling"? Here, the officers are called "officials" (A-6).

The other stories on Page 1 today are only there because Scandale didn't have anything better from the crack assignment desk under Editor Deirdre Sykes.

Weighing in

Six days after suffering a Big Mac attack, Governor Christie made a delayed appearance in Somerset County to sign three bills funding open-space preservation (A-3).

Christie singled out U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., for criticizing the debt-ceiling compromise. "I don't know why he's so angry. He's in his 80s and in good health."

If Christie doesn't lose weight, he isn't going to make it to his 80s.

Instead of running story after story on the partisan gridlock in Washington (A-13), please tell readers whether President Obama has executive powers to end the FAA shutdown and if he does, why doesn't he use them?

Amid letters blasting the Repubicans on A-18 is a nonsensical one on budgeting from Mark Kalinowski of Clifton. He's "associated" with "The North New Jersey Tea Party Group."


Sykes appears unable or unwilling to stop Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski (L-1) from writing about everything but commuting, his original mission.

Here's a question for Sykes' assignment minions:

Why doesn't the L-1 story on Cross River Bank donating $85,000 to restore private-school bus stops in Teaneck -- but nothing for reduced public-school busing -- tell readers whether bank officers live in town and send their kids to private schools?

And while you're at it, are there any ties between the bank and Councilmen Yitz Stern and Elie Katz, who sought its assistance, as reported on L-6?

Although the assignment desk appears to be generating more local news, much of it is inconsequential and reads like the weekly paper Sykes came from. She also continues to rely on photos of non-fatal accidents to fill the section (L-3).

Food snob

As the Second Helpings blog on reports, Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill spends more time hobnobbing with celebrity chefs in Atlantic City than she does publishing healthy and nutritious recipes for readers.


  1. I have shared your disgust at the woeful state of local news in The Record since long before I began reading Eye on The Record. Do you think that coverage of county government also is weak because only one reporter is assigned to the beat? I once heard that there was thought among a tiny segment of the staff that there should be at least two reporters covering the county courts and the agencies at One Bergen Plaza. Please keep including the behind the scenes commentary on the personalities with the analysis of their output. I appreciate your work.

  2. The staff is not so much limited by its size as it is by its witless assignment editors.

    There is one reporter, Kibret Markos, assigned to the courts, but his output is small compared to the number of trials and cases filed there.

    Michael Gartland is assigned to the county clerk and agencies, but again, reporters don't really have to produce to keep their jobs, especially if they are a favorite of Deirdre Sykes.


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