Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Does 'reform' get any more confusing?

Coat of arms of Jamaica.Image via Wikipedia
Coat of Arms of Jamaica.

The assignment editors at The Record have Staff Writer Juliet Fletcher tackling another Page 1 process story about changes in health-care coverage for public workers, leaving readers more confused than ever.

This is her fourth story this month on changes in health or pension benefits, which Editor Francis Scandale calls "reform," as he's been asked to do by Governor Christie's spin doctors.

Fletcher reports that next year's savings are projected to reach nearly $100 million, thanks to changes in federal law. Until now, she has cited this year's savings from changes in state law, putting them at $10 million.

More on Turkey

For the second day in a row, Scandale devotes most of the front page to the earthquake in Turkey, but today's local reaction story and map are far out of proportion to the death toll (A-1 and A-4).

Coverage of local Turks just reminds readers of how Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes have routinely ignored North Jersey's Jamaican-American community, which is far larger than the newer immigrant group.

The Record and NorthJersey.com even failed to report an historic change of government on the island, according to an Associated Press story on Salon.com:

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Youthful lawmaker Andrew Holness was sworn in Sunday as Jamaica’s new prime minister, ushering in a government he said would heal political divisions, root out corruption, reduce debt and bureaucracy, and attract foreign investment to reduce poverty. 

Scandale, Sykes and their clueless minions can't get more out of touch with local residents than that. 

Page 1 typo

And Liz Houlton's crack news copy desk can't get any sloppier than missing a typo in the first word of the third front-page story today: "A environmental group...."

Why isn't the Obama administration's latest effort to curb home foreclosures on Page 1 today? Check L-7.

Locals yokels

The contempt for local readers continues in Sykes' Local section, which is missing municipal news from Hackensack, Teaneck and many other towns for yet another day.

For some reason, Teaneck reporter Andrea Alexander covered a Monday night meeting on city finances in Englewood. A house-fire photo was needed as filler on the same page, L-3.

For high rollers

In Better Living, free-lancer Bob Probert showers superlatives on Sear -- a new steakhouse in Closter with dinner entrees costing up to $60 -- but there's not a word on whether this pricey beef  is raised on harmful antibiotics and  growth hormones, and feed containing bits of dead animals (Starters, F-1).

Has Probert been told to confine his coverage to restaurants favored by multimillionaire Publisher Stephen A. "Beefeater" Borg? Where are stories about new restaurants with prices more suited to today's challenging economic climate?

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