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Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Record's readers hit 'corporate greed' at Gannett, pig-racing news and price hike

This cartoon from Daryl Cagle illustrates President Trump's "impulsive Tweeting," such as accusing Barack Obama "of wire-tapping his phones in a series of tweets that blew back to bite him."



Long-time readers of The Record continue to express shock, outrage and dismay over changes to their local daily newspaper as Gannett again moves to slash the payroll.

In a review posted on NorthJersey.com's Facebook page, Michael Esposito slams "corporate greed" at what he called a "once legendary paper."

Esposito also includes mention of The Record's "Radio Waves" column, which will end with the March 25 departure of veteran staffer Raymond A. Edel, one of the 141 North Jersey Media Group employees who were given layoff notices at the end of January.

"Concerning what's going on at The Record:
 "Congratulations Gannett Publishing. If your goal was to gut a once legendary paper and turn it into USA Today Version 2, you're succeeding. And you should be ashamed of yourselves because of it. Corporate greed is king. Or so they think.
"Breaking news from the New York Radio message board: Last of the newspaper radio columns ending.
"Posted by Ken Lamb on March 05, 2017:
"Quick. Name a newspaper still featuring a weekly column on radio. Answer. The Record in Bergen County. The long-time family owned publication was sold to Gannett last July, killing off one of the last independents in this area. And you know what is now happening. Gannett is doing what it does best. Cut, chop, eliminate.
"And one of the victims is 'Radio Waves' by Raymond A. Edel which appeared most every Friday. Yes, it was mostly rehashed releases from public stations where they must still have staff dedicated to writing releases. But I don't want to be too critical of Edel's efforts where now and again he would dig up a good story.
"Now, Edel reports that after 33 years he got a pink slip. He leaves the building on March 25 probably meaning his last column will appear on Friday, March 24. So unless Edel can find a new home, the last of the weekly radio columns is gone!
"Good luck Ray and thanks for all your many years of columns about radio. Hat tip to Ed Salvas who picked up this story from a notation on Edel's Linked In page."

On March 6, Dawn Thumudo-McPartland said she would give The Record the lowest rating possible:
"Wish I could give it 0 stars. This publication has gone downhill quickly! There is little to no news and 90% is advertisement. The news that is in there is drivel and contains no news at all.
"Seriously, an article about a petition to ban pig racing at the Meadowlands when there is so many more important things going on in the county?
"How about the debacle that is Affordable Housing, and maybe an expose about who exactly funds the Fair Share Housing Coalition? Get back to printing real news and not National Enquirer bologna."
Carol de Lyon slammed the substantial hike in the cost of home delivery for a paper as "flimsy" as its parent, USA Today.

She complained about huge headlines, and "far too much banal reporting in articles simply to use up space without substantive reporting."

"We used to read every word of the old Record, Now it takes less than five minutes. Tabloid journalism at its worst."

Today's paper

On Page 1 today, a staff-written story reports President Trump is creating a new office to help victims of illegal aliens and "has pledged to publish weekly lists" of crimes committed by those undocumented immigrants (1A).

Critics say the initiative "could inflame bias."

The headline:

shifts his
focus to

But typical of staff-written stories in The Record, there is no background about the policies of President Obama and others.

"Barack Obama was the most anti-immigrant president since Dwight Eisenhower, who loaded more than 1 million Mexicans onto railroad cars in 1954's 'Operation Wetback,' syndicated Columnist Ruben Navarrette wrote on The Record's Opinion page this month.

Obama deported "roughly 3 million people," divided hundreds of thousands of families and dumped thousands of abandoned U.S.-born kids into foster care, Navarrette reported.

He said his administration was "removing people 'who are dangerous, people who are gang-bangers or criminals.'"

"Meanwhile, the same conservatives who charged Obama wasn't doing enough are now applauding Trump for going above and beyond -- when, in reality, the new president is mimicking the old one."

Local news

In Local today, there are stories from only a handful of the 90 or so towns in the circulation area.

But fans of light-bulb news will find two stories to interest them on 3L:

One is a pledge by PSE&G to replace streetlight bulbs in Hasbrouck Heights.

And in Allendale, Northern Highlands Regional High School will install all LED light poles at its sports field at a cost of $400,000.

Saturday's paper

In The Record on Saturday, a photo caption on 7A said:

"Commuters dodging traffic on East Ridgewood Avenue [in Paramus] as they try to reach a bus stop from a park-and-ride lot."

But the photo shows only two vehicles, and both are in the distance, traveling away from the half-dozen commuters jaywalking across the street.

The photo was taken by Staff Writer John Cichowski to illustrate his front-page Road Warrior column, which carried this headline:

"Risking life
and limb to 
catch a bus"

So, I guess readers can assume that judging from the photo, Cichowski is again employing his usual exaggeration and hype to sell his boring column.

That's more of the trademark dishonest reporting he's employed since he began writing the so-called commuting column in September 2003.