Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A-1 horse racing, soccer and Christie -- but no real news

Hackensack High School students waiting for stretch limos and other transportation late Tuesday night after their senior prom at Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park. On the way there, the students passed 1 Garret Mountain Plaza, where The Record is headquartered, and heard loud snoring coming from the newsroom.


Readers find two asses on The Record's front page today -- American Pharoah, the one with the tail; and absentee Governor Christie, the one with the tall tales.

Horse racing, world soccer and another Christie campaign press release printed verbatim by Columnist Charles Stile doesn't make much of a front page.

Oh, endangered turtles and a dishonest Rutherford contractor fascinate you?

Editor Martin Gottlieb guided The New York Times' international edition in Paris and Hong Kong, but today and on too many other days, he appears to be the wrong person to run a North Jersey daily that once prided itself on its local news content. 

Major screw-up

Error-prone Road Warrior John Cichowski comes up with another boner on the Local front today, where he recounts how a woman driving an SUV knocked down a crossing guard trying to protect children in Leonia (L-1).

Charlie Lee was assigned to Broad Avenue and Fort Lee Road in Leonia when the incident occurred on May 27, but the confused Cichowski identifies the intersection on first reference as "Grand Avenue and Fort Lee Road," which is a few blocks away.

The error is repeated in the caption on the continuation page, even though the photo over the caption shows Lee on Broad Avenue, not on Grand Avenue (L-6).

And Cichowski betrays his readers by not asking the police chief why an officer isn't assigned to the busiest intersection in town during rush hours.

Last August, a 60-year-old woman was dragged to her death after a school bus hit her as she crossed Broad Avenue.

Local obits

One of Publisher Stephen A. Borg's major decisions after he took over from his father was to assign a full-time reporter to write expanded local obituaries.

But on too many days like today, the life stories of important, fascinating or controversial North Jerseyans are buried among the death notices in the Local section (L-6).

That doesn't make sense and betrays the paper's mission to deliver local news to readers.

And it's especially wrong because it was one of the few Borg decisions that served journalism, not commerce.

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