Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Editors help Uber keep secret how much drivers make

The Record and other news media haven't challenged Uber to make public exactly how much drivers make after expenses -- gasoline, insurance, oil changes, and wear and tear on their cars. This wildly exaggerated "Drive Uber" sign was on the back of a bus I saw on Madison Avenue in Manhattan on Sunday.


Page 1 of The Record today carries another upbeat story on Uber, but not a word on exactly how much drivers make after such expenses as insurance, gasoline, and wear and tear on their own cars.

Staff Writer Richard Newman reports "car-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. plans to recruit 3,000 drivers from low-income counties in New Jersey, including Passaic County" by the end of next year (A-1).

But later -- after telling readers Uber promises "self-employment with no investment required" -- the reporter finally comes clean and says applicants need a smart phone, checking account and "a car that is no more than 10 years old and seats at least four" (A-10).

A smart phone and a car are investments, aren't they?

Newman doesn't mention other expenses, such as insurance, gasoline and maintenance.

All in all, working for Uber sounds like a bad deal.

Syrian refugee

Another heart-warming story appears on the front page today, this one about a Syrian refugee who has been taken in by Ponds Reformed Church in Oakland (A-1).

The report on Sandy Khabbazeh, who is Christian, makes no reference to Governor Christie vowing to bar all Syrian refugees from New Jersey and the rest of the United States.

Local news?

Today's Local section again is filled with more police and court news than municipal news (L-1 to L-6).

Municipal stories from Oakland and Wayne appear on L-2 and L-3, but Hackensack apparently remains on the news blacklist.

The Woodland Park daily hasn't reported on the last two City Council meetings, and continues its boycott of school news.

Heart healthy?

Readers hoping to eat more heart-healthy food might be interested in a recipe in the Better Living section.

Unfortunately, clueless freelancer Kate Morgan Jackson of Upper Saddle River includes more artery clogging cheese than healthy smoked salmon (BL-2).

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