Thursday, October 13, 2011

Is northern New Jersey standing still?

A view of Paterson, New Jersey, as seen from t...Image via Wikipedia
This is as close as The Record's editors want to get to Paterson.

Readers of The Record are learning to do without news of North Jersey and their town under the weak leadership of Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes.

The lead story today is about health-premium hikes for state, local and public-school employees "next year."

War and pieces

Most of the media covered the 10th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan last week, and then there is Columnist Mike Kelly-come-lately.

His story about a soldier from North Jersey who is a public affairs officer in Kandahar is interesting, but what is it doing as the main element on Page 1 today? 

Maybe Kelly's anniversary story was delayed because his call to Afghanistan didn't go through until Wednesday.

And please don't tell me the story on the Hurricane Irene overtime controversy in Paterson is North Jersey news. 

How melodramatic can you get? A Paterson City Council hearing "dissolved into chaos," reports Staff Writer Rich Cowen.

Scandale has long portrayed Silk City as a center for drugs and prostitution, and coverage of Paterson increased only after The Record abandoned Hackensack and moved to Woodland Park.

Still, you won't catch Scandale or Sykes taking on the slumlords or the banks that redline Paterson neighborhoods. Neither has the balls for groundbreaking journalism.

Borg numbers game

In an A-1 blurb and refer, the editors take a dig at The Wall Street Journal, which supplies pages of content for The Record's Sunday Business section. 

The item reports The Journal allegedly bought up copies of its own paper to inflate circulation figures and bolster ad rates. 

How is that different than Publisher Stephen A. Borg reporting The Record's circulation figures without  telling readers and advertisers they include the Herald News, a so-called "edition" of the flagship daily?

Two more corrections on A-2 join this week's embarrassing parade of screw-ups.

All fired up

On the front of Sykes' Local section today, the best the assignment desk could do is a lame photo is of a fire in a Paramus house where "no one was home." That's what readers say of Sykes' desk -- no one is home.

On L-3, NJ Transit's plans to improve local bus service don't include new rolling stock.

Below that, Staff Writer Michael Gartland quotes Governor Christie as saying "additional steps are needed for the state to realize more significant cuts to property taxes."

What cuts in property taxes?

Hackensack news? Check back next month. Maybe Kelly will do a column on the 10th anniversary of the sale of 150 River St. to Wal-Mart.

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  1. Saw on the Paydirt newsletter that the Record just hired a wine columnist. I can't think of many other ways to throw away money than that.

  2. Actually, his column has appeared for a few months.

    It's readable, but I'm not am great fan of wine columns, and hate how restaurants exploit diners by charging so much for a glass of wine or a bottle.

  3. I just don't think it's necessary or worth bragging about. Save that stuff for 201 magazine.

  4. The wine column essentially is filler.

    The food editor of The Record does little or nothing about food; it's not like she has to fill a section anymore.


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