Monday, February 25, 2013

More news of animals than inner-city kids

The Record of Woodland Park went unread last Monday, when Hackensack City Hall was closed for a federal holiday. The paper thrived in the city for more than 110 years.

Did you enjoy all those photos of beaming inner-city schoolchildren with books on Page 1 and A-8 of The Record on Sunday?

More minority children appeared on Sunday's Local front with a local obit for Kathleen Barbetta,  who taught first-graders in the city of Passaic for 24 years.

Minority schoolchildren in Passaic, Englewood, Paterson and other communities appear so infrequently in The Record you'd think they're an endangered species instead of being in the majority.

But head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and her deputy, Dan Sforza, seem to knock themselves out covering animal news.

Hibernating editors

Last Monday, a huge patch of Page 1 was devoted to birds and the humans who stalk them with binoculars.

Then, the Local front of the same newspaper had a story about local bird-watchers taking part in a bird count in wealthy Englewood, where nearly all of the public schoolchildren are black and Hispanic.

This past Thursday, two photos of a Shih Tzu (SHITS-ooo) appeared on L-2, but Englewood and Hackensack readers couldn't find any news of their communities. 

And on the Local front today, Orthodox Jewish children in Passaic city -- not minority school kids -- are shown dressed as pandas, though the photo caption doesn't explain what that has to do with the Purim holiday (L-1).

Idiotic sports news

Editor Marty Gottlieb and sports Columnist Tara Sullivan again wasted readers time with Sunday's front page musings on how little we supposedly know about our "idols," a reference to athletes who kill or cheat.

Did anybody with a shred of intelligence ever "idolize" O.J. Simpson, Lance Armstrong or Oscar Pistorius?

P.R. ploy

The only reason the story of Paterson minority kids led the Sunday paper is that the book-drive sponsors were North Jersey Media Group, The Record and Herald News.

Even with that, The Record published an incorrect "end date" for the collection of books at the Ridgewood Library on A-1 both Thursday and Friday, according to an L-2 notice to readers on Sunday.

Maybe six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton can't read.

Mind on vacation

Also on Sunday, Road Warrior John Cichowski, the so-called commuting columnist, continued to ignore North Jersey's crowded highways and dysfunctional mass transit to focus on car dealers in California (L-1).

Next week, he'll be reporting on the practices of dealers in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, the biggest news in Hackensack on Sunday was a photo of a pedestrian who was struck by a "vehicle" the day before (L-2).

Today's paper

The Record's Sunday night deadline apparently was too early to get a photo of Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence on the front page today (A-1).

Another correction appears on L-2 today.

If anyone found anything of interest in the A-section, Local or Better Living, please e-mail me. Sports went straight to recycling.


  1. I read on the Blue Jersey website that editiorial cartoonist Jimmy Margulies was let go in an apparent cost-saving measure. I'm wondering if your contacts have heard anything. Perhaps this will free money to hire stringer-photographers to take more SUV his tree/pole pictures to take up filler space. Or maybe verbatim police reports from the local towns passing as news.

  2. That would be major. Is he 60, old enough to have taken the buyout?

  3. If Jimmy was let go, that would be a shame. I liked most of his work. But 60 seems to be the magic number. I was just let go after more than 3 decades . . .

  4. The money will probably go into the Borgs' pockets, which seem bottomless, or to finance all the litigation the paper is involved in -- brought by lawyers who command $300 to $400 an hour.

  5. That is probably true. Back in the day Mac valued those who worked for him. Stephen seems to value no one.

  6. Stephen Borg had two silver spoons in his mouth,one from his mother and one from the Nanni that raised him. He has a narrow concept of people,money and the world. Not the kind of person you want responsible for news media and over 1,000 employees in NJ. Stephen Borg and Jennifer Borg just want new generation employees to work for NJMG so they have the impression that they built the company and made the millions. What a joke, it was the 100 years of customers,employees and NJ citizens before them that built the company,certainly it was not the dysfunctional trust fund babies Stephen and Jennifer.


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