Monday, August 29, 2011

Editors have an eye for young women

Milk SetImage by Mowie Kay via Flickr
A Better Living cover story has a hole big
enough to drive a milk truck through.

The Record's most dramatic photos from coverage of Tropical Storm Irene show rescues from floods, but why did an attractive young woman land on Page 1 while the best an octogenarian could do was the front of Local?

Critics say Editor Francis Scandale, Assistant Assignment Editor Rich Whitby and others have an eye for young women -- and it shows in today's coverage.

To cover the storm on Sunday, Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes had less than half the number of reporters they threw at the recent earthquake, plus a handful of photographers and an unknown number of assignment, copy and layout editors.

Fifteen reporters are listed as contributing to the storm report, and they turned in an impressive amount of copy. 

Keystone Kopy Editors

But Liz Houlton continues to resist sending her news copy editors to boot camp for writing photo captions, and a couple I saw are embarrassing, to say the least. 

On Page A-4 today, the photo caption says, "Three men navigating a boat...." But it's clear from the photo one man is pulling the boat by a rope, a second is bailing water leaking into it and the third is smiling for the photographer.

On L-6, a photo shows two men in the foreground looking at a tractor-trailer partially submerged in flood water in front of Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. Why does the caption call them "spectators"?

Readers angry at the lack of local news coverage in North Jersey can relate to the residents of Fresno,Calif., where no media covered a Board of Education meeting at which the superintendent decided to give back $800,000 in compensation to the schools (A-8).

The Record didn't attempt to localize the story, and ask North Jersey school superintendents if they intend to do the same thing.

Spoiled reporters

As with past storm coverage, the paper says it will take up to a week to restore power to homes and businesses (L-1). 

But the stories  never explain why. Are the utilities short on staff? Why don't they hire more people to help ease the recession? And where are the reports of supermarkets and restaurants throwing out spoiled food?

Better Living's cover story on milk alternatives lists the nutritional contents of soy, almond, rice and other substitutes, but not cow's milk, so how are readers supposed to make an intelligent choice (F-1)?

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  1. Hi Victor, Whats the story on case L-006894-11 filed at the Bergen County Court House?
    Title says NJMG vs Bergen Newspaper, the title dosent make sense,is a current employee suing NJMG ???? Can you report on this? Thank You Vic.

  2. I looked into that. It doesn't involve an employee.

    It is either a dispute over legal ads or a contract case. No story, as far as I can tell.


  3. Other than you, which critics say that those editors have a thing for young women?

  4. I am not going to name names, but their "thing" is well-known in the newsroom by current and former employees.

  5. Why would you not name them? You haven't been shy about hurling accusations before.

  6. Accusations? What accusations?

    I'm talking about witnesses to the male editors' bad behavior, so I am not going to name them.

    I saw some of it myself when I worked there.

  7. There are also comments on the blog concerning this same subject, and they didn't come from me.

  8. The only other person who has commented on alleged bad behavior by male editors is DeMarco. He not only comments about it, he brags about doing the very thing you condemn. So, cut the crap Victor. There are no witnesses.

  9. It's well-known Frank Scandale asked at least two young, attractive female reporters to lunch, and Rich Whitby has made no secret about staring at the tits of his reporters while he edits their stories.

    So you shut up. People are not blind.

  10. Holy crap! Frank Scandale asked an attractive female to lunch? That is just terrible. I will let you in on a little secret: Frank Scandale also asked a few guys out to lunch, as well as quite a lot of older and less attractive women. Does this mean what i think it means?

  11. What are you -- his social secretary, publicist or apologist?

  12. Of course, you conveniently ignore why Scandale should be having lunch with some newsroom employees and not others, or the propriety of taking young single women to lunch.

    What did he discuss with the young women -- the First Amendment or whether he could get to first base with them?

    Did he ever take a copy editor out to lunch? Why not?

    Do you remember when that moron Frank Burgos came to the paper and sent out a touchy feely e-mail to the staff on how he was going to get to know every one of us and take us all that lunch?

    That farce ended quickly, thankfully. He turned out to be a real son of a bitch as Scandale's newsroom enforcer, berating veteran reporters about their productivity.


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