So much for the Daily Record

My first day working for the Daily Record was Nov. 12, 1985. I went to a Madison Board of Education meeting.  I probably will not go to another one, but that really isn’t the issue. The issue is that I would not be surprised if no one from the Daily Record ever goes to a Madison school board meeting again.
That is the problem. My termination was based seemingly on the simple fact that the powers that be at Gannett New Jersey do not think news and politics is important. So, what I did _ editorials, a blog, columns and constant attendance at so many events _ was deemed unimportant.
That view goes like this: “Politics is just people yelling at each other on cable TV shows; how silly.” As for the nuts and bolts of government, well that is just routine, uninteresting and irrelevant.
How can people _ newspaper executives who are supposed to have their pulse on the community _ be so pathetically out of touch? Here in New Jersey, whether you love him or hate him, Chris Christie has made governing the state fun, interesting and exciting to watch. I mean, his town hall meetings, which are held during the work day and which are not publicized extensively, draw SRO crowds.
And this year, with towns and school boards coping with a new cap, their work becomes more interesting and meaingful. Questions abound. What services are being cut? Are cops being laid off; how about teachers? A few years ago, the Daily Record opted to minimize such municipal beat coverage.  The paper, for instance, no longer had a reporter covering either Dover or Morristown full-time. Yet, some in management are astonished when circulation goes down to its current sad level of about 25,000 a day.
And that was before the paper dismissed half its staff. Those remaining are dedicated journalists and they will perform well.  I hope for their sake and the remaining readers that the paper remains viable. If it does not, do not blame rank and file journalists; look at management.

sAD

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

7 Responses to So much for the Daily Record

  1. Michael Spector says:

    And here’s a cheer for you, Fred Snowflack, for maintaining journalistic principles in the midst of editorial views that often ran counter to both Daily Record readers and its management. I first noticed your name missing from today’s (Saturday;s) editorial page box., replaced by an amorphous New Jersey Press Media. How you maintained your sanity between the larger political issues of the day and smaller personal relationships was amazing. The sad fact is that one more voice has been stilled in a information age dominated by instantaneous twits and tweets, leaving little time for reflection.
    Thank you for allowing my views to published during you tenure.

  2. Michael Spector says:

    Please correct last sentence. Should read: Thank you for allowing my views to be published during your tenure.

  3. Chris Rogers says:

    So true Fred.

    The most important news happens at the local level. Property tax increases are a direct result of how our local councils and school boards spend our money.

    News is NOT real estate ads and pictures of a resturaunt of the week!

    Thanks for continuing to keep us informed of the important news and events!

    Chris

  4. fsnowflack says:

    Thanks for your support, we will try to carry on here

  5. Susan Edus says:

    Thank you Fred for all your wonderful colums. The Daily Record lost an excellent person.

  6. Sharon M (formerly Sharon B) says:

    Hey Fred,
    It’s been a long time. I remember you sat behind Hy. The funniest thing I ever overheard you say at work was, “This is a newspaper, we don’t recognize God here,” or something to that effect – in response to a caller asking you if we were open during some religious holiday.

    Anyway, I moved around and re-settled in Morris County. I actually subscribe to the Star Ledger, but religiously check the DR.com, because I’m now a Parsippany resident and I love your commentary on local politics, as well as local info, in general, that I could only get from the DR. I had no idea what was going on, but I’m sad and frankly PO’d.

    There’s something official about print – something that makes it more fact than fiction, that separates authority from wanna-be-blogger-totally-unreliable. Newspapers are there to promote good journalism, provide a forum for various viewpoints and most of all report the news. If the DR doesn’t do that, what will it become?

    I’ll miss your writing, wish you the very best and will have to bookmark your blog.

    All my best,
    Sharon

  7. fsnowflack says:

    Hi Sharon .. Thanks for writing _ and thanks for reading the blog!

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