Monday, October 10, 2011

Editors wait for news to come to them

Hackensack, New JerseyImage via Wikipedia
Hackensack in 1894.

The main element on Page 1 of The Record today is a rare story about retirees, handed to the assignment editors on a silver platter.

Staff Writer Colleen Diskin, whose byline doesn't appear that frequently, bases the story on a "new report" from the New Jersey Foundation on Aging.

Even Edwin Kindermann, who is shown with his wife, Jane, in a heartbreaking photo above the story, virtually "walked" into the newsroom in the form of a letter to the editor he wrote about their financial plight.

It gets worse. The line over the photo, "Retirement costs soaring," isn't backed up by figures in the story comparing current to past costs. Oh, well.

It's lucky for readers the foundation put out a report. Stories about seniors, Alzheimer's disease and the challenges facing older drivers appear rarely or not at all in the Woodland Park daily.

In the lead A-1 position, another staffer reports on the burden to school districts of the state's new anti-bullying law.

The Associated Mess

But the third element on the front page is a story on how being unemployed too long can hurt a job applicant. 

It's from The Associated Press, and Editor Francis Scandale made no effort to find any North Jersey residents to help localize the story. Oh, well.

On A-11, an opinion column by Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin shows he's more effective handling such national issues as Gov. Rick Perry's ingrained racism than he is in planting frequent, wet editorial kisses on Governor Christie's ample posterior.

Little local news

Readers in Hackensack and many other towns shouldn't bother turning to Local today, because they won't find much local municipal news.

Head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes' idea of earth-shaking news is the migration of birds that use a chimney on a Ridgewood school (L-1).

How much does sports columnist Tara Sullivan get paid for describing a losing coach's "purposeful stride," "angry grimace" and "balled fists" (S-1). What's next, whether he's constipated, too?

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