Positive Qualities
Jersey City's official newspaper of record (1); has been mentioned in the larger media whirl (2); occasionally agitative (3); you can get your wedding announced without being the daughter of an industrialist (4) Generally good writing (14); headlines which haven't just risen from the dead; sports writer Jim Hague's almost childlike capacity for wonder Refreshingly out of the loop (25); gives readers with a literary bent a fascinating glimpse of William Burroughs's cut-up method in action
Negative Qualities
Prints anonymous letters to the editor; subscribes to Liz smith column; if not for wire copy, newspaper of record for NJ's 2nd largest city could be read in 15 minutes of quality time (5); editors frequently ignore first rule of editing (6) Ad/Ed ratio a bit high (15); publisher's wish for expression indulged; has run 'columns' from the mayor; automotive classifieds not in alphabetical order It's in English (26)
50 cents (subscription $70) Free (subscription $50) nominally 25 cents (subscription $28)
34,678 (7) 19,200 10,000 to 15,000 (27)
Delivered to newsstands and houses (8) every day except Sunday Doorsteps pollinated every Sunday, with questionable rate of fertilization (16) Available on available surfaces, every other week (28)
"It's better in the morning." "Hudson County's only Sunday newspaper group" "Your Voice in the Community"
Slogan Analysis
Better than what? Sex? (9) That's hard to improve upon Voices in Your Head
Not ready for Whitewatergate (10) Falls within reasonable tolerances Consistently interesting (29)
Resident Political
Guru's Column
and Rating
Peter Weiss writes 'Political Whirl'; good Anthony Amabile, no longer a split personality (17), writes 'The Back Room'; good Nat Berg composes 'Berg Politix'; we're speechless
Ideas that Didn't Fly
Gold Coast Magazine (11) Hudson Review (18) Objectivity
Body Copy Typestyle
Crown English Times Unknown (30)
Typo Control
About typical Acceptable Define 'typo'
Serviceable (12) Influences range from the Village Voice's Sylvia Plachy (19) to almost everyone's high school yearbook photographer (20) Surreal, almost nightmarish
Graphical Interface
Serviceable Business directory a little sloppy There must be a lot of dust in the composing room
General Comments
Puts Doonesbury on the editorial page; puts fresh talent on the 'Fixit' beat; teen section no threat to the quality mean of the rest of the paper Same company that brought you 'Yuppies Invade My House at Dinnertime' (21); managing editor appears to have almost no one to manage (22) Masthead in green ink; free Legal Eagle advice for readers short of funds; the Media God's dictate to write for an audience with a 6th grade education faithfully adhered to
Four Alarm Fire:
Whose Point of View?
The victim's The Cat's The next door neighbor's (who's away)
Free Story Proposal
Police rescue fireman from city council meeting held captive by Jersey City Incinerator Authority now headed by mayor (13) What, they need ideas? (23) Light rail plan approved by the Trilateral Commission in a secret vote held in Atlantis
Psychology 101
Not compulsive enough Essentially normal, but continue sessions Regression
Character & Movie
John Malkovich in 'Of Mice and Men' Willy in 'Free Willy' (24) Richard Dryfuss in 'Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind' (31)
1 By resolution passed 8-0 by city council WHEREAS this means that the city is required to run its municipal advertising the the Journal, which it does with abandon. The Journal attempts to cover the whole of Hudson County as well, in three editions. It gobbled The Hudson Dispatch several years ago just as that paper was sliding into its final spasms of incomprehensibility. 2 Jack Anderson (or his current ghostwriter) patted them on the back once. 3 Former Journal reporter Helene Stapinski, back from Alaska, might consider dropping her alma mater a column on the next Mt. Carmel Festival, this time accusing the zeppole itself of racism. 4 Or of an editor. But whatever your lineage, that doesn't mean they'll print it this MONTH. 5 With a good headwind. 6 Do no harm. 7 That's what they told us. 8 Our apologies to realtors; homes. 9 No, really. 10 If they use Woodward & Bernstein's two-source rule it doesn't show. Maybe if they carried bigger notebooks they could fit more facts inside. We have observed, however, what may be the start of an encouraging trend: it was recently claimed by Hoboken Board of Education President David Anthony that while the board was in recess during a recent meeting a Journal reporter, evidently hungering for original source material, snatched a document from the president's desk. If they don't teach this sort of thing in journalism school, they should. 11 Which wasn't a bargain for 10 cents or for free. 12 When photographing an author and a book, for example, the almost inevitable result is a picture of an author and a book. 13 Who was later found in a topless composing room.
14 In the context of its competition. However, the Reporter of the 90s is to the Reporter of the late 80s what Steven Seagal is to, oh, we'd say Laurence Olivier, but that would be hyperbole. Today's editor seems forced to vet such pieces as 'And the Winners Are' (9/4/94), an over-the-top wrap-up of their Scoop the Reporter Ice Cream Contest. The summer wasn't THAT hot, fellas. 15 If they're following the lead of New Jersey Monthly magazine (a hop, a skip and a jump away from being either a catalogue or a supplement to Grey's Anatomy - check out the NJ Vein Center ads sometime) they need to get more upscale. Without ad there wouldn't be much ed in this world as we know it, but there are limits that reasonable adults should be able to agree upon. 16 A stoop with inattentive owners can turn into an urban Burgess Shale. We also know of at least one 10-unit apartment building which gets as many as a dozen superfluous papers. 17 His column used to go under the pseudonymous bylines of Glenn Peale and Chris Packer. Two names, Anthony? 18 An acerbic John Derevlany production which likely flew higher than its advertisers thought proper. 19 Management might consider buying their photographers a level, for those 'uncertain' moments. 20 Whose main goal was to capture everything. In the same frame. 21 When they first started feeling their oats. 22 The JC Reporter is part of a larger publishing group, so appearances are admittedly deceptive. 23 If only they had more actual stories and less actual fodder: real estate and health 'advice', etc. Just add water and it turns into the Sunday Star-Ledger, which is as heavy as a Manhattan phonebook but not nearly as diverting. 24 Before he gets free.
25 Perhaps it's an unconscious parody. 26 We think 27 Depending on how everybody's feeling that week. 28 We think. The paper says weekly, the editor says biweekly. Frankly, it's a little hard to keep track. 29 They also seem to be dedicated to the proposition that fiction is just another kind of fact. 30 Queen Elizabeth? 31 It's too bad he couldn't resist digging up his yard...

SLOGAN ANALYSIS is diverting, so we'll try a few more. The Bergen Record has claimed: "We Cover Your World. All Of It", which never left us much to live for. Now it says it's a "Friend of the People it Serves", which just shows that the copywriter may not have considered how the Record's brand of familiarity can be enough to breed contempt. The Star-Ledger seems to have an unofficial slogan along the lines of "All this for a quarter, and wacky letters, too".

THE JERSEY CITY CHALLENGE hasn't been included in this chart because it doesn't really cover the city; it just keeps office space. Its name is a rubber stamp on a Brooklyn-based publication which has larger concerns. HUDSON COUNTY MAGAZINE is worthy of mention because, although it's now out of print (the phone number has been disconnected, which is generally regarded as conclusive), it was probably the glossiest -- and except for the introductory issue with the Ed McMahon cover, best looking -- publication to ever come out of the area. HCM ran briefly in the early 90s until it presumably ran out of advertisers: this is the risk one takes when in the Hudson milieu one charges $4000+ for full page ads. One of HCM's quirks was that county executive Robert 'Cash' Janiszewski used to pop up in its pages, usually in ads, with such disconcerting regularity he brought to mind Hugh Hefner, an early star of his own magazine.


Light Reading