Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Same old flood photos are 'good enough'

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, U.S. Rout...Image via Wikipedia
A road in Illinois during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

Waters hit 100-year high

That dramatic headline on Page 1 of The Record today doesn't get much support from the same old photos Editor Francis Scandale has been running since flooding from Irene began on Sunday.

How many boats, dinghies and other rescue conveyances can readers take before their eyes glaze over (A-1)?

Flooding may have reached a 100-year high, but you can't say the same thing for the journalism practiced at the Woodland Park daily by Scandale, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and others.

Last night, I saw images on the TV news that took my breath away -- all of downtown Paterson under water, shot from a helicopter. I was looking for them in The Record today.

'Good enough'

Publisher Stephen A. Borg doesn't believe in renting a helicopter to provide readers with dramatic photos he claims they are going to look at for only "a few seconds."

The same old boats, dinghies and flooded streets are "good enough," according to his philosophy.

And everyone knows Borg needs the money to pay his $9,300-a-month company mortgage and annual property taxes of $73,000 on his $3.65 million mansion on Churchill Road in Tenafly.

Anyway, we're talking about Paterson, one of the poorest communities in North Jersey and the city Scandale loves to portray as a center for drugs and prostitution.

City is a prison

Take a look at the lead paragraph in the main flooding story on A-1. Paterson is described as "a city in virtual lockdown."

"Lockdown" is used most often to describe what authorities do when prison inmates riot. Or, they lock down a neighborhood when a gunman is holding hostages or an airport when terrorism is feared.

Why is "lockdown" being used to describe Paterson, when all that should be conveyed is that flood waters are blocking access to downtown? 

And I still haven't seen a photo of the magnificent, flood-swollen Great Falls. Scandale seems determined to ban any positive images of Silk City.

I guess Scandale also put Governor Christie's tour of Wayne and other communities on A-1, because the state's chief executive escaped stoning by flood-weary residents.

The story doesn't say why Christie bypassed Paterson, which was hardest hit.

Same old column

In Local, Road Warrior John Cichowski adds a twist to make a stale column on MVC offices seem fresh, but the layout editors are so sick of him, they demoted the piece to L-3.

The perennial flooding and closure of Willowbrook Mall in Wayne have been reported matter of factly amid a rumor the original builder skimped on the size of sewers to save money.

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  1. Perhaps most readers feel is GOOD when no one can get out of Paterson.

    Sort of a "moat"

  2. Sort of a sick comment, don't you think?

    I went food shopping in South Paterson on Monday, in the early afternoon, and then went to see the Great Falls.

    You sound like The Record's editor with your Paterson bashing.


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