Sunday, January 24, 2016

Editors deliver superficial coverage of another big storm

In Hackensack, dog walkers and other pedestrians were stymied today, if they planned to leave their own block. As in years past, city plows and crews don't do corners or crosswalks. Meanwhile, The Record's lazy editors shrugged and went back to sleep rather than cover the blizzard of 2016 in any detail.

Hackensack homeowners who cleared their driveways to the curb or paid someone else to do it found that city plows then threw up an impenetrable blockade -- this only two weeks before several thousand dollars in property taxes are due.


By noon today, the print edition of The Record still hadn't hit my cleared driveway in Hackensack.

The paper's dysfunctional home delivery unit struggles to deliver a dry paper when it's raining, so I guess I should cut it some slack after more than 2 feet of snow falls.

But that's no excuse for the lazy local Assignment Editors, Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza, who once again deliver spotty coverage of winter's first blizzard, judging by the digital edition I am looking at online.

The biggest fear of residents who lived through Irene, Sandy and other big storms was the loss of power, light and heat, but Page 1 and the Local front carry little or nothing about outages.

Town coverage?

On L-1 -- the main responsibility of Sykes and Sforza -- readers are bewildered by a story on how the storm altered plans for Saturday funerals.

What about Jewish families who must bury their dead within 24 hours? The story is silent on that score. 

There are about 90 towns in The Record's circulation area, but the staff appears to have done reporting from only a couple of dozen of them (L-1, L-3 and L-6).


Staff Writer Kibret Markos, who usually is assigned to the state courthouse in Paterson, reported on Prospect Avenue high-rises in Hackensack, a city that covers an area of nearly 4.4 square miles and is the most populous in Bergen County (L-3).

Markos interviewed two building employees, a resident of the Blair House, and two pedestrians who said they were Russian and shrugged off the "thigh-high" snow.

Here is one of the sentences in his superficial report:

"The neighborhood of high-rises along Propsect Avenue remained mostly barren, with a few cars driving by every few minutes."

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