Imagine No Star Ledger

It could happen, and soon after S2855 passes tomorrow, which is the main reason the Star ledger is desperate to keep that legal ad money ($200,000 annually from Union County alone) flowing – to the point where their feeble arguments turn absurd:

They are moving this bill fast, as they always do when they do something indefensible. If they succeed, jobs will be lost and New Jersey politicians will be able to do their dirty work with no one watching.

Let’s look at what the Star Ledger has been watching in Union County.

….and not watching in Union County:

  • Open Space Trust Fund Theft: CW
  • Pension Padding: CW
  • UCUA/Covanta Deal: CW
  • Website for $130,000: CW
  • Lifetime Health Benefits: CW
  • Salary Hikes: CW-12/14/16, and more coming tomorrow

Without the Star Ledger Countywatchers will still go on and, more importantly, people may start getting their news closer to the source – and be better off for it.


13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Bruce rosen on December 18, 2016 at 11:27 am

    John. You alone unpaid are no match for the breadth of their coverage and wishing their demise is a sad day indeed. You have no concept of the impact it will make. It’s just like the obsessive hatred of Hillary. Look at what we’ve got instead.


    • Bruce, I disagree in three ways:

      1) This may not have not been true five years ago but right now I can cover Union County and the Public Pension situation far better than everyone they have at the SL (until such time as they hire Mary Williams Walsh or Tina Renna).

      2) Without the SL people may be forced to go directly to government websites (or meetings) to get news without the filter.

      3) There have been some successes with ex-Ledger people going online. newjerseynewsroom worked OK for a while until the need for money got to them. njspotlight, espeically when Mark Magyar was writing for them, hits real issues in detail. If the SL folded this week wouldn’t Tom Moran go online and get to say what he really wants to (like this guy: Anyone who cared what he had to say would find him.


  2. Posted by steve on December 18, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    The bill is an affront to the huddled masses,two points to make “no man is an island”and smart phones are not suited to the toilet


  3. Posted by readslikeamofiabook on December 18, 2016 at 6:48 pm;S/L … nothing but a publicity agent for democrats. Maybe the S/L can rent out space like the NY Slimes is doing.


  4. Posted by Daniel Shays on December 18, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I have held the Star Liar partially responsible for the destruction of NJ, & Union County by their covering up the crimes of their Democrat comrades. This should have happened to them decades ago. I can think of a few more lying liberal globalist propaganda rags that also need to go………..


  5. Posted by readslikeamofiabook on December 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Holy shit…I did not realize how insane Bob Braun appears to be. Isn’t there a special snowflake hot line he can call? Or has he already checked into a mental ward?


  6. Posted by Tina Renna on December 18, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    The County Watches blog was established because of the quality of the Star-Ledgers Union County government reporting.

    At the time the Ledger was fully staffed and they did no investigative reporting. Worse, they would print the county’s b.s. press releases featuring whatever freeholder was up for re-election.

    Most of the stories you mention John originated on the County Wathcers, the Ledger would never give us credit for our work.

    With their first round of cutbacks the County hired long-time Ledger reporter Gabe Gluck who covered the reactivation of the railroad and the change of the form of government in Berkeley Heights, where the former county manager’s wife became the administrator there.

    Around the same time they honored a retiring Ledger reporter – Bob somebody – with a resolution thanking him for his wonderful coverage over the years.

    LOL John could you imagine us being honored? We were never even thanked for exposing Musicfest, Sullivan’s check writings…. On and on……

    Oh the Ledger history……. Brings back all bad memories and is the main reason I never called myself a journalist. I was a watchdog, which was so much more than the ledger reporters were doing.


  7. Posted by readslikeamofiabook on December 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    Let’s hope tomorrow is the demise of the S/L. I will miss Vicki Hyman’s Monday coverage of the RHONJ though /sarc/


  8. Posted by steve on December 18, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    lets not shovel dirt in the grave prematurely–if I read that bill correctly they still will be able to pick 2 papers of their choice to use-draw your own conclusions——-ps— tina is 100% correct about S/L past performance – maybe just maybe this will turn them into a legitimate paper—-


  9. Posted by Bpaterson on December 19, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Mr rosen is right and wrong-the newsmedia was initiated to bring transparency of issues to the people. This is critical. However, things go off the rails when proper situations become a monopoly and thus become one sided. The union county govt is aperfect example as it became just a repository for relatives, pay to play, taxpayer abuse, imperialistic actions without input from the county residents nor even the municipalities governing boards. As TR notes, the union county watchdogs were created because of this rampant abuse that the star ledger should have been uncovereing but for reasons we wont go into in this post simply turned a blind eye. Mr Rossen is also right about the comprehensiveness unmatched versus the county watchdogs, but the Ledger covers many other areas and levels with their many employees versus the few people in the watchdog association. But again the odd thing is that with the union county govt being exposed so many times as self serving and grass roots corrupt the ledger and its organization just doesn’t cover any of this. As JB1 shows above, the ledger finally gets around to some union county coverage always 6 months or more after the watchdogs expose the corrupted system of programs. And certainly not right at the primary or general election periods.

    The problem with the Ledger is the exact same problem with union county govt. There is no opposition or challengers around, such as another newspaper and thus a monopoly is created. Fat and lazy. So we end up with nothing but yellow reporting. Amazing, one day right on the front cover of the Ledger was moran declaring that gov Christie is guilty of bridgegate even though he wasn’t involved in any of the trials. Fair and INTELLIGENT reporting, investigative journalism goes out the window when theres a monopoly, especially with hundreds of thousands of dollars in public ads coming from political boss controlled govt-that certainly has a controlling hand in what gets printed and what is simply avoided to print.

    The ledger has become a shadow of itself from 10 years ago, just a compendium of articles bought from other newspapers, and bloviating spinmeisters. Yes it has an article in it once in a while that gives info to the people, but that is only trying to justify its existence. Will there be 2 papers at the end with the public ads? Certainly with senator Lesniak controlling the Ledger and he has sway in the legislature, sadly the Ledger will probably end up as one of them. The watchodgs are much better, fair and solid with what they can uncover versus the Star Democrat. Mr Rosen is just the apologist but his thoughts should be discussed although misguided.


  10. Posted by Henry on December 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Does anyone commenting here really believe newspapers will survive the next 10 years? The world is changing. It really doesn’t matter if the legislation goes forward, newspapers as a means of providing information or posting legal notifications are a nod to the past.


  11. Posted by Vinny on December 27, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Well Mr Rosen is paid by advanced media who would be hurt by the bill so of course
    He is against it. Less money for his firm.


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