Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sloppy, incomplete reporting is continuing to cheat readers

WBGO-FM, the 24-hour jazz station in Newark, celebrated the "Rhythm Review" -- which broadcasts classic soul and rhythm-and-blues every Saturday -- with a 30th anniversary dance party on Wednesday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, above and below.


Remember Bethany Koval, the Fair Lawn High School student who described herself as an "Israeli Jew" amid the social media uproar over her saying Palestinians are being mistreated?

Well, she is back on Page 1 of The Record today, and readers finally learn that description may not be accurate, if they manage to plow through thousands of words and get deep into the story on the continuation page (A-8).

More troubling than that is here is yet another Record story about the hate campaign against Koval that doesn't quote any of the thousands of North Jersey Jews and Israelis themselves who believe peace with the Palestinians is long overdue.

Deep on A-8, Staff Writer Hannan Adely finally tells readers Koval's father is Catholic, and her mother "was raised Jewish" and converted to Catholicism.

And Koval is quoted -- possibly for the first time in months -- as saying her connections to Israel "are uncertain and came from genealogical research she had done on her mother's family."

End of editing

The blame for all this fudging is Deirdre Sykes, who was promoted to editor in January after a decade or more of mismanaging the local-news section.

Sykes and her minions have simply given up on challenging reporters and columnists, who are encouraged to write on and on to fill space.

No editor challenged Staff Writer John Cichowski's description of a big ethnic supermarket in Clifton as Irv Gerber's "favorite farmer's market" (Road Warrior column on Wednesday's L-1).

In winter? Sorry. Corrado's Market on Main Avenue is a supermarket, not a "farmer's market," and the addled Cichowski is a laughing stock.

Frank Sinatra Jr.

The placement of the story on singer Frank Sinatra Jr. tells you Sykes doesn't care one way or another that he died of cardiac arrest at 72 and his famous father died of a heart attack at 82 (A-8).

This could be an opportunity for The Record to emphasize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the nation -- in contrast to all the artery clogging food the paper's Better Living editors promote day after day.

Local news?

Here's a salute to Staff Photographer Kevin R. Wexler for the gorgeous photo of Agnes Kyei and newborn son Elijah Adu Gyamena at Hackensack University Medical Center (L-1).

They share the page with lots of police and court news, and news about the police.

Today's Local section continues Sykes' boycott of Hackensack news.

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