The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on June 5, 2020 · A6
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · A6

Hackensack, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Friday, June 5, 2020
Start Free Trial

6A ❚ FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020 ❚ THE RECORD P h The first edition of The Record printed on June 5, 1895. It was four pages long, printed on cotton paper and priced at one cent. h Thomas E. Franklin, a photogra- pher with The Record, took the famous image “Raising the Flag” at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001. The photo was named for its resemblance to the “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” photograph by Joe Rosenthal. h William Caldwell, a high school sports writer for The Record who in 1930 became a columnist, received the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his column, “Simeon Stylites.” He re- tired in 1972. h The Record’s printing facility in Rockaway holds three modern printing presses that use offset lithography to pump out 500,000 copies a day. h Evan Runner founded The Evening Record in 1895 with Frank Cook and George Alden. Runner would go on to become the business manager of the publishing company. H.W. Collingwood served as editor. h The paper became The Bergen Evening Record in 1922 and The Record in 1960. “What was once an expansion title became a delimiting one,” said Donald Borg, then The Record’s editor and publisher. h John Borg, the first of four genera- tions of Borgs to publish The Record, was a Wall Street financier. Borg be- came the newspaper company’s con- trolling stakeholder by the early 1920s and gained ownership in 1930 after a series of buyouts. h In the 1980s, The Bergen Evening Record Corp. owned a separate adver- tising arm and a communications com- pany that operated four television sta- tions in New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. h Gannett Co. bought North Jersey Media Group in the summer of 2016, in- corporating The Record into a state- wide network that includes the Asbury Park Press, The Daily Record of Morris County and now the New Jersey Herald in Sussex County. h The Record began promoting its website,, as a source of reader content in October 2000. North Jersey Media Group, the umbrel- la company that publishes The Record, was incorporated that year. h From 1951 to 2011, The Record oper- ated at 150 River St. in Hackensack. Be- fore that, the paper was based at 119 and then 295 Main St. in the city. Today, its o���ces are at Garrett Mountain Plaza in Woodland Park. h The Record’s coverage extended to parts of Rockland County, New York, in the early 1980s. Then, the newsroom boasted nearly 200 full-time staff members and 80 part-time workers. h Famed young newspaper carriers of the past include former New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, United States Marine Corps general and for- mer Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace, comedian Richard Lewis, and Arthur Godfrey, a star radio and television host in the 1940s and ‘50s. Also, current editor Daniel Sforza. From 4 pages to ‘Raising the Flag,’ paper’s history in facts David M. Zimmer USA TODAY NETWORK – NEW JERSEY NORTHJERSEY.COM FILE PHOTO 125 YEARS sues far beyond its beginnings chron- icling crime, local politics and devel- opment. That’s an important point to make, especially now. As we grapple with an uncured pan- demic that has crippled our economy, as a nation we are also — finally, it seems — coming to grips with our his- tory of oppression and systemic rac- ism that affects every part of our soci- ety. It is a moment brought about by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. We have had these moments before. And The Record has covered them. We were there in Newark in 1967 when racial unrest gripped the streets. For decades afterward, we worked — and continue to work — to cover the lack of fair housing and the discrimi- natory practice of redlining in our communities. And 30 years ago, in April 1990, we relentlessly covered the story of 15-year-old Phillip Pannell, an African-American from Teaneck who was shot in the back and killed by a white police officer. Pannell’s killing didn’t result in a conviction of the officer, Gary Spath, who fired the shot. It did result in changes to how Teaneck police ap- proach their jobs and interactions with the public. As a society, we must not wait for the next tragedy to spur outrage and piecemeal change. We must be out- raged every day at the daily injustices faced by those whose skin color is not white. We must work diligently and passionately for reform not just in our societal structures, but in our own dai- ly lives. We must be advocates for and participants in change. The tapestry of cultures in our American experiment has the poten- tial to make our nation the greatest land in the world. But it is a potential we have not yet reached. Only by confronting and rooting out these baked-in societal ills can we be- gin to move toward that potential. Only by recognizing and accepting our history can we change the direction of our society. These are uncomfortable topics and uncomfortable conversa- tions. But they are necessary if we are to reach that potential. For the staff of The Record and, confronting those topics and conversations is para- mount to our ongoing mission of giv- ing voice to the voiceless, of shining a light into shadowy corners, and of holding those in power to account. We will learn, and relearn, the is- sues from our past that led us as a soci- ety to this moment, so that we may better understand. We will become a better resource for our readers who also want to understand. And we will count on our faithful readers to point out when we aren’t hitting the mark. Part of that commitment is making sure that our staff better reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the com- munities we serve. We will also work to improve our coverage to better high- light the success stories that uplift these communities while balancing it with those issues that also tear them down. The future is ours to shape. Today we returned the long-stand- ing motto of the paper “Friend of the People It Serves” to our nameplate. We will work each day to live up to that credo, for all the people of New Jersey. The Record’s first front page from June 5, 1895. NORTHJERSEY.COM Sforza Continued from Page 1A said. “There were things that you would only get from a paper like The Record. It was a gift to be there.” One of those series under Gottlieb’s tenure was a probing look into the her- oin trade in North Jersey, a series of stories that was recognized as a Pulitzer finalist for its in-depth reporting. But just as important to him, Gottlieb said, was The Record’s drive to help re- build the collection of a library in Pater- son that was lost to Tropical Storm Irene. The newspaper collected 37,000 books. Former Executive Editor Frank Scan- dale, now the investigations editor for The Journal News in Westchester, was running The Record during the Sept. 11 attacks. For Scandale, who had just joined the paper months earlier from the Denver Post, the attacks worked to bring the staff together. “9/11 was really the coalescing moment,” he said. “We all bonded pretty quickly. We sank or swam to- gether. It really jelled us and pulled us together.” The coverage of those attacks, in- cluding the famous photograph by Thomas Franklin of the firefighters raising the flag above Ground Zero, would kick off a decade under Scan- dale’s tenure, during which The Rec- ord’s proud investigative tradition con- tinued. There were standout stories on Ford Motor Company’s “Toxic Legacy” in the foothills of North Jersey, where the automaker for years dumped paint sludge, poisoning the land and the peo- ple who inhabited the region. And an exposé on Encap, a failed golf development in the Meadowlands that aimed to convert waste dumps into fair- ways and eventually involved Donald Trump before the plug was pulled, re- sulted in the story being named a final- ist for the Pulitzer. There was also an eye to the future, with The Record continuing its work to grow the field of journalism by hosting a yearly diversity journalism workshop that paired young journalists with pro- fessionals for two weeks of on-the-job training. It’s a tradition that was relaunched this year, but has been delayed because of the coronavirus restraints on gather- ings. Like Sykes and Gottlieb, Scandale re- ferred to the feeling of family and the commitment of the journalists at The Record as among the most gratifying parts of the job. “What stood out early on was the talent, the deep history of the people who work there, and the passion that they had for this,” he said. “This was like their family. This was like their home.” I couldn’t agree more. hear what other things were going on in the city and come back and report. It was remarkable.” She, too, recalled the sense of family, with co-workers spending the working day together, gathering for drinks after work, and helping to volunteer at the many community events sponsored by The Record. One of those was a long- standing yearly food drive where Rec- ord employees went to various loca- tions to help collect items for those in need. Sykes also was a mentor to genera- tions of journalists who came through the paper (including myself), helping to shape careers for countless writers and editors. For former Executive Editor Martin Gottlieb, The Record bookended his ca- reer. “I started, for all intents and purpos- es, my career at The Record,” he said, recalling his first days at the newspaper as a reporter in the early 1970s. “I was fortunate, like probably a few thousand other people, to start my career at The Record, which always aspired to be the best it could be and uphold journalistic ideals. The lessons I learned at The Rec- ord stayed with me for my career and until this day.” Gottlieb would leave The Record af- ter a couple of years as a reporter and eventually move on to positions at the Village Voice, where he was editor, the Daily News as managing editor, and The New York Times, where he served in various roles including national projects editor and the global editions editor overseeing the International Herald Tribune. And then he returned. “When I was rehired to be the editor in 2012, it was really a dream,” Gottlieb said. “What I found was a newsroom that had evolved and gotten better and better and better. “It had a core staff that was just a gift to find,” he said. “With strong editors on every desk, staff columnists, a terrific Trenton bureau, great sports reporting, feature reporting and a business sec- tion you could be proud of. And then this engine of municipal reporting driv- ing The Record every day.” For Gottlieb, there is one story that stands out among all the rest in his ten- ure as editor. “The GWB lane closure story was certainly the emblematic story of that time,” he said. “It’s known far outside New Jersey that we were the paper that broke that story two times over, first when the bridge was blocked for politi- cal reasons. Second, when one of the key people who blocked access to the bridge turned out to be a member of Christie’s staff. “What people don’t know about that story was that for the next two years, the news breaks just kept coming,” he strumental in getting the George Wash- ington Bridge where it is,” said Malcolm Borg, the patriarch of the family that owned the newspaper for most of its ex- istence. “Originally, it was planned to be down lower on the river and be a draw- bridge, believe it or not.” Over the years, the Borg family ex- panded its media empire to include television stations, magazines and weekly newspapers. But even as it expanded into other media, The Record remained the crown jewel of the operation. And its focus re- mained consistent: strong local jour- nalism supported by investigative work that not only told the story of life in North Jersey, but probed the reasons behind the decisions that affected the lives of those living in the shadow of the bridge. “It’s really what I wanted The Record to be, a watchdog for the public,” Borg said. “We were the public’s eyes and ears for many, many years in watching out where the tax money went and who was taking graft and one thing or an- other. “I’m very, very proud of that record, of being the watchdog,” he said. There were many stories over the years that fit that mold. But for former Executive Editor Deirdre Sykes, who had many leadership roles during her tenure at The Record, several stood out. “Open for Business,” she said, re- ferring to an investigative series that probed the pro-business dealmaking in Gov. Christie Whitman’s admin- istration. “One of the things that was huge about that one was that it really, really brought the Trenton bureau into the limelight. They were magnificent. We became a force to be reckoned with.” Sykes also mentioned the impact that work covering stories like the shooting of 15-year-old Phillip Pannell had on the community. Pannell, an Af- rican American from Teaneck, was shot in the back by a white police officer, Gary Spath, and killed. The non-stop coverage resulted in reforms at the de- partment and was chronicled in the book “Color Lines” by staff writer Mike Kelly. Sykes also recalled the coverage of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the blackout of 2003 as times when the staff rose to unexpected heights. “Putting a newspaper out in a black- out, it was an unbelievable day,” she said, recalling that the newsroom had just two working computers and no power to anything else. “We would send people to the car to listen to the radio to 125 years Continued from Page 1A

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 22,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Record
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free