Saturday, October 15, 2011

Exhausted editors take a break

Emancipate Yourselves at Occupy Wall StreetImage by PeaceCouple via Flickr
The Record's editors don't care whether this woman or any of
the other Wall Street protesters live in North Jersey.

Editor Francis Scandale and the assignment desk must have run out of steam after producing a strong North Jersey front page in The Record on Friday.

Page 1 today looks like most of the editors took a three-day weekend and Scandale ran off to the golf course, only to get soaked by Friday afternoon storms.

Scandale made no effort to localize the two main A-1 stories today -- a great week for the S&P 500 and the occupy Wall Street protesters.

Borg calls shots

Since the protest started in mid-September, The Record has ignored it, running wire service stories and photos. 

Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes just don't care if there are North Jersey residents taking part in the occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

That's understandable. The editors get paychecks signed by Publisher Stephen A. Borg, a fake journalist whose greed and executive perks are the kind of excesses being exposed by the protesters.

Even The Record's caption for today's AP photo is clunky. A protester is shown with his hands up as a police officer grabs his shirt with one hand and holds a baton with the other. 

The caption says "protesters marched through the streets ... Friday after the cleanup of their park was postponed." 

News from Twitter

The third A-1 story is about the New Milford High School principal, who uses Twitter to keep in touch with educators around the country. That's mildly interesting, but is it really Page 1 news?

When is The Record going to tackle a more important education story, exploring the social and political forces that have left Englewood's elementary and middle schools with hardly any white students or updating readers on desegregation efforts at Dwight Morrow High?

More old news

As usual, I leafed through pages of international news I saw the night before on the CBS national news and PBS. I didn't even read the headlines. What a waste of space. 

If you doubt Steve Jobs was a master manipulator of the media before he died, look at the thinly disguised, million-dollar advertisement for the new Apple smart phone masquerading as a news story on A-12.

Unfortunately, the success of the iPhone has never translated into jobs for Americans because it is made in China -- in a naked grab for bigger profits.

The boring Local front today is notable only for the rare appearance of Staff Writer Jean Rimbach's byline.

Page L-3 is devoted to police and court news, and L-5 carries two, long wire-service obituaries of people you have never heard of.

Sour notes

In Better Living, a cover story reports a jazz-and-blues vocalist from Bloomingdale is hosting a vegan cooking show on National Public Television called "Jazzy Vegetarian" (F-1).

Stranger than that is the awkward lead paragraph from Staff Writer Jim Beckerman, who is also a musician, containing the phrase "Skeep-Beep De Bop-Bop Beep Bop." Beep Bop? It should be bebop, if it's needed at all.

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