Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Columnist emerges from journalism's sub-basement

One of the reflecting pools at the site of the original World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Staff Writer Mike Kelly was given access to the top of the new World Trade Center, and flaunts it in the face of readers on Page 1 today.

Why did Editor Marty Gottlieb waste so much space on The Record's front page for a column that has so little news value?

Kelly, who has been writing his column for more than 20 years, has been stuck in the fourth sub-basement of journalism for years, and is unable to write a coherent sentence.

He refers to "12 unenclosed flights of stairs into crisp air" as a "ladder on steroids." 

If readers have the stomach, they can find their own example of Kelly's unfocused news writing, and a complete lack of editing.

Glorious greed

Why is The Record giving a million dollars worth of free advertising to a couple who are flipping Englewood's Gloria Crest mansion, which they bought in 2000 for $4.7 million (A-1 and L-7)?

Who is foolish enough to throw away $39 million on this glorious pile of stone on 5 acres, and who cares where owners Edward and Jan Turen will live next?

Maybe Publisher Stephen A. Borg is finding his $3.65 million McMansion in Tenafly a little cramped, and will buy Gloria Crest as a family homestead and retirement home for his father, Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg, who lives nearby on Englewood's East Hill. 

They could call it Borg Crest or Crested Borg or Stephen Gloria. 

More fluff as news 

This story and Kelly's column are examples of the gee-whiz journalism the editors rely on in the absence of local news.

Kudos to Staff Photographer Tariq Zehawi for the terrific photo of a 74-year-old woman holding a small dog after their car rolled over in Fair Lawn (L-3).

But this is yet another gee-whiz filler photo from head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes, who day after day seems unable to find enough news for Local.

Grazing in Ridgewood

On the Better Living cover, freelancer Joyce Venezia Suss quotes the owners of Raymond's in Ridgewood as saying "we grind and blend our own meat for the burgers" (BL-1).

Suss is silent on whether the restaurant owners actually raise cattle, and doesn't say if the meat contains antibiotics and growth hormones or if the place serves any organic produce.

Monday's paper

I didn't get to Monday's paper until this morning, but I'm relieved the book drive for Paterson children finally ended on Sunday after four weeks of daily coverage (Monday's A-1).

The drive was sponsored by North Jersey Media Group and its two daily papers, The Record and Herald News.


The big Hackensack news on Monday was a fire that destroyed two homes on Park Street.

Residents who see their property taxes rise every year wonder why 55 city firefighters -- plus an unknown number of others from three neighboring towns -- were needed to put out the wind-whipped blaze at around 5 in the morning?     


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