|A bright spot in downtown Englewood is this art gallery, one of the few non-food businesses along Palisade Avenue, where railroad tracks separate the city's white and minority residents.|
|These Engle Street storefronts have been empty for months. They are less than a half-block away from bustling Palisade Avenue in Englewood.|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
The Record covers Englewood and other important towns with inexperienced reporters from one of the weekly papers owned by the Borg family's publishing empire, North Jersey Media Group.
On today's and Sunday's Local fronts, the byline of Stephanie Noda appears over stories about Englewood, but calling her "STAFF WRITER" is a stretch.
Noda and other reporters whose stories appear in The Record work for one of NJMG's many weeklies. In her case, it's Northern Valley Suburbanite.
What's wrong with that?
Paid less, get less
Noda and other weekly reporters are paid less and have less experience than staffers in The Record's Woodland Park newsroom.
And as a result, their coverage can be unsophisticated, especially in such a racially diverse community as Englewood, where school segregation persists more than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education.
Of course, you can also blame that on the clueless Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza, the local assignment editors who issue marching orders to Noda and other weekly reporters.
I have yet to read any stories about Englewood's struggling downtown or the many real estate companies, including Bittan Group, that keep storefronts empty until they get the high rents they demand.
Victoria's Secret, Panera Bread and Ann Taylor are among the prominent corporate names that closed their businesses in Englewood.
NJMG Chairman Malcolm A. "Mac" Borg lives on Englewood's East Hill, but it's a world apart from the working-class neighborhoods on the other side of the tracks that you only read about in police news.
Mac's son, Publisher Stephen A. Borg of Tenafly, pioneered the cost-effective strategy of using weekly reporters to cover news in important towns.
|Bittan Group is said to own a great deal of property in downtown Englewood, including Solaia Restaurant on Van Brunt Street.|
|Bertelsen is among the landlords who appear content to keep stores empty until they can get their price.|
|Classy entrance to a desolate space on Engle Street.|
|On Monday afternoon, I came across this sign on the doorstep of an empty storefront on North Dean Street, near Palisade Avenue. It reads: "The Record Memorabilia At a Great Price."|
Another reporter from an NJMG weekly, Megan Burrow, wrote a story on the Hackensack River Greenway in Teaneck that appeared in The Record on Sunday (L-1).
The byline of Marc Lightdale of Northern Valley Suburbanite appeared over a story about Harrington Park, also on Sunday's Local front.
Other weekly reporters in Sunday's thin edition of The Record included Svetlana Shkolnikova, Debra Winters and Lindsey Kelleher, all listed as "STAFF WRITER" (L-3).
Readers of The Record deserve better.