Monday, July 13, 2015

Errors mount, production editor laughs all the way to bank

Four pieces of Hackensack fire equipment responded to an audible alarm from a house on Euclid Avenue on Sunday afternoon, above and below, but no fire or smoke was visible.

Even though temperatures were approaching 90 degrees, this firefighter at State Street headquarters shows protective suits haven't advanced very much.


Editing, fact-checking and proofreading -- three crucial steps in the production of The Record -- have become so lax readers can expect to find at least one major error in the paper every day.

And despite those errors, Liz Houlton, the production editor, continues to bank a six-figure salary every year.

Today, an editorial on the increasing odds of winning a Poweball jackpot notes the lottery hasn't been run by the state since Governor Christie "retained" Northstar New Jersey, a private firm (A-9).

"Northstar's involvement is an issue itself," the unnamed editorial writer states.... "Democrats criticized the move at the time, and with Northstar not meeting revenue projections, their happiness has increased [italics added]."

Of course, "happiness" certainly isn't the word the writer was looking for. 

"Their unhappiness [italics added]" is what increased, but everyone from Houlton on down completely missed the latest major error.

Houlton earned the title of "Queen of Errors" when she ran the features copy desk in the old Hackensack newsroom, allowing hundreds of mistakes to get past her cursor, especially in the Food section.

Her promotion to production editor and the hefty raise that went with it wasn't based on merit.

The accuracy of The Record has declined dramatically on her watch, but Publisher Stephen A. Borg seems not to notice or care.

In an email, the Eye on The Record reader who pointed out the error in today's only editorial commented:

Check out the huge stupid faux pas ... in Monday's editorial about "Lottery Dreams," in the first paragraph of the second column.
"It should have read "unhappiness" instead of "happiness." 
Either The Record editors are totally clueless to the real meaning of "happiness" or this has the connotations of  '1984'  where too many words have the opposite meaning.

Today's paper

Do Page 1 columns today and Sunday on Christie's presidential campaign mean Editor Martin Gottlieb has given up on reporting what a poor job the GOP bully is in doing in New Jersey (A-1)?

Today's A-1 headline, "Greeks and lenders talk past deadline," exposes the Woodland Park daily's pathetically early deadlines, as TV and radio were reporting that a deal had been made.

Why even put the incomplete story on the front page? 

Does Gottlieb really think readers were on the edge of their seats over the outcome of negotiations in Europe?

In fact, what many readers are wondering is how wealthy Greek restaurant owners in North Jersey can get away with charging $40 to $50 per pound for whole fish?

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