Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Editors prefer to wait for a crisis to cover news

A little after noon on Monday, only one clerk was available at the Hackensack Post Office on State Street (Zip Code: 07601). Later, a second clerk came on duty, but the total wait before I got to a window was about 25 minutes. I made sure I had plenty of time on the parking meter.


The leaders of New Jersey and New York have been treating the Port Authority as their political cookie jar for decades.

But The Record has been reporting on insider deals and exorbitant payments by the Port Authority only since last September.

That's when members of Governor Christie's inner circle closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge as a form of political retribution.

Sunday's Page 1 opus on a $500,000 Port Authority payment to Santiago Calatrava for architectural plans no one asked for or used describes events dating to mid-2011.

Similarly, another front-page report on Sunday discussed the tradition of drinking at firehouses, but it took an allegedly drunk volunteer crashing a fire truck this month to get the editors' attention.

Today's lead story, reporting an $800 million New Jersey budget shortfall, can be traced to Christie's repeated vetoes of a tax surcharge on millionaires during his first term in office.

Long overdue is an examination by The Record of fiscal mismanagemt dating to the Republican admininistrations of Christine Whitman and Tom Kean.


  1. Finally!
    Until today I had no idea there was a Record blog by an ex-employee!
    Can't believe they've let you get away with it.
    Killing anything negative about them is what the Record people are about.

    Very awful how my career there ended.
    I was laid off after many years of service.
    Can't keep you around anymore, is what they told me.
    Two days pay for every year of service.
    Or maybe they were hoping I'd quit instead.
    Really wish it ended better.

    Sorry it didn't end well for you.
    Apparently there are a lot of us who got let go.
    Somebody must really be screwing up there.
    So many people out of work since they moved to West Paterson.
    Or maybe they should have just stayed in Hackensack.

    1. Thanks. Nice to hear from you, though sorry about what happened to you. Keep reading and commenting. Recent technical issues have limited content (computer died and so forth) but I'm still at it.

  2. Maybe the top brass have their stuff together finally.
    Although I doubt it.
    I don't think they've gotten the worst yet.
    Last one out turn out the lights.

    Oh, but I do feel bad for my friends there.
    Really hope your colleagues from the copy desk as doing well.
    Do you think they missed you?
    Every paper has cut back on editors.
    Ripping a story to shreds is a thing of the past.

    But my anger is more with management,
    Really, the people who are still there are doing double the work.
    I couldn't imagine being there now.
    Did you ever think it would be that bad after they fired you?
    Every man for himself now!

  3. Other experienced copy editors left at around the same time, but the biggest loss was Nancy Cherry, who single-handedly upheld standards of reporting, writing and grammar. With Liz Houlton put in charge of production after she had made such a mess as head of the features copy desk and Herald News staffers put in key news editing positions, the circle was complete.

    The paper is hastily thrown together, and police reporters can't even get basic information for their stories. The page fronts are no longer being proofed. It's just devolved into a high school-level newspaper.

  4. A high school paper that now has more employees than the Star Ledger?

    1. High-school level journalism. Sounds like you never graduated.

  5. Best comments ever.


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