Thursday, November 17, 2016

On second day of redesign, even more superficial reporting and not a word, burp or fart from Bergen's 3 biggest towns

A political cartoon from The Sacramento Bee that ran during the campaign has turned out to be prescient. Governor Christie's T-shirt, right, says "Christie for vice president of the George Washington Bridge."


Two stories on The Record's front page today are typical of the superficial reporting and editing the newspaper has done best for more years than readers care to remember.

Lisa Marie Segarra is an unfamiliar byline, but the problem with her Page 1 story on the fatal Sept. 29 train crash in Hoboken is all too familiar:

"Sleep apnea
eyed in fatal
train crash"

Segarra and her editors assume readers know what "sleep apnea" is, and never explain how a medical condition in which a person repeatedly stops breathing as they sleep might have affected the engineer before the crash.

If she Googled "sleep apnea," the reporter would have discovered -- and might have passed along to readers -- that insufficient sleep from the condition has been linked to occupational accidents like the train crash. 

First-time buyers

With only three main elements on the front page today, the splashy piece on first-time home buyers could have been lifted from The Record's Sunday Real Estate section, long a captive of Realtors, bankers and other advertisers.

As it is, the upbeat story completely ignores how the American dream of owning your own home can quickly turn into a nightmare -- thanks to high property taxes, unscrupulous contractors and dishonest repair companies.

Wasted space

What's the point of the Charles Stile political column on Page 1 today?

As he's done time and again, Stile merely rehashes a news story about Governor Christie.

This time he regurgitates Tuesday's Page 1 story on New Jersey's credit rating being downgraded a 10th time -- a record for any governor.

All that's new is an updated thumbnail photo of the burned-out Trenton-based columnist, who has been the GOP thug's chief apologist.

Stile's focus on politics is really a waste of space in view of how the redesign of the print edition unveiled on Wednesday drastically reduces the number of stories in the paper. 

Local news?

Today's Local section holds no interest for readers in Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood -- the three biggest communities in Bergen County.

Readers will find stories from Wyckoff, Clifton, Pompton Lakes, Saddle River and Washington Township, plus court and crime news.


  1. Here is an email from a reader about a colossal error in the Charles Stile column:

    Hi Victor,

    The Record appears to be on life support. Do they have a living Will for someone to pull the plug?

    Other readers of The Record that I have spoken with are greatly disappointed with the new print version.

    Is there any good news on the status of the Road Warrior?

    I wonder if The Record is doing away with their "Corrections" notices that used to appear on A2.

    As usual, The Record editors overlooked one of the easiest to spot reporting gaffes below. I'm sure there must have been many more that they already overlooked in the new version since Wednesday.

    Charles Stile's column on Thursday mistakenly indicated that Christie's pension reforms from 5 years ago "was going to save taxpayers $132 million over the next three decades".

    Really!? Christie was supposed to have boasted about saving ONLY $132 million over the next three decades??? That would be around $4MM per year. That would be embarrassing chump change in comparison to annual budgets over $34 BILLION.

    The correct number that Christie's pension reform was supposed to save and for which he and his office boasted about was on the order of $132 BILLION over 3 decades, or around $4 BILLION per year.

    1. Thanks. Gannett may be retaining Stile, Road Warrior John Cichowski, the deplorable Mike Kelly and the unfunny Bill Ervolino to give readers the impression their local daily paper hasn't changed. What a joke.

      Still, have you noticed the updated thumbnail photo that ran with Stile's column? Wonder whether Kelly's and Cichowski's column will show them as they look now. I got so tired of Kelly's shit-eating-grin photo, which the print edition used for more than a decade.

  2. Look's like you got your long-time wish for Kelly's more aged photo in his 11/20 Sunday column. No grin whatsoever. However, they may have glued his right hand to his head to keep it from rolling off his shoulders, or perhaps he is nursing a headache in response to what is happening at The Record.

    Or maybe he refused the new owner's repeated requests to pose for a normal updated head shot for his column, and the owner had to have someone sneak up and take whatever photo that they could take of him, and he always seemed to be lost in thought with his hand to his head.

    1. Indeed. He puts every single thought on paper, making his columns way too long and boring.


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