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Jan 14, 2014

Journal of Record: Bridgegate revives faith in reporting

The scandal of the politically motivated traffic jam on the world's busiest bridge shows just how important local reporting and regional newspapers still are in the digital age.

Matthew Knott

Former Crikey media reporter

George Washington Bridge

Even in New York and New Jersey, a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge last September hardly seemed a major scandal. Tailbacks are far from uncommon on the bridge, which connects the two states via the Hudson River and is the busiest in the world. Yet five days of traffic chaos have returned to dent -- perhaps even permanently derail -- the White House hopes of Chris Christie, the charismatic New Jersey Governor who had been the favourite to win the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. In a plot twist that would make the scriptwriters of House of Cards proud, it emerged last week that the jam was an act of political revenge concocted by a key Christie aid and a political ally at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As it so often is with such scandals, this was politics at its worst and journalism at its best. In particular, the affair has drawn rave reviews for the Bergen Record, the family-owned local paper that has dominated the story from the beginning, outshining even The New York Times. Most US journalism watchers would be shocked if The Record, the second-biggest-selling paper in New Jersey, didn't win a Pulitzer for its "Bridgegate" reporting.

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7 comments

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7 thoughts on “Journal of Record: Bridgegate revives faith in reporting

  1. AR

    The doggedness of the journos. is heartening but probably already belongs to a by-gone age, when reality wasn’t trumped by troothiness, the Max Headroom delusion that citizens could give a flying. Not just until it affects them but even then they majority will take troothiness to truth 9 times out of 10. Talk about a Stockholm Syndrome – when it’s the majority pf a nation’s voters mebbe it should be called the Benighted State Syndrome?
    One need only look at the views of Snowden as traitor, treasonous, spy to realise that the US Constitution would be more usefully deployed as kindling.

  2. klewso

    “Revive”? “Faith”?
    Just as well The Record was interested in it – more than The NY Times, and other bigger players? …. If it had been left up to that big end of town …..?

  3. klewso

    …. like institutional child abuse here?

  4. zut alors

    It looks like Bridget Kelly has unwittingly done a favour for US voters, The Record certainly has. All credit to the publisher and Boburg.

  5. paddy

    It was a bloody good scoop.

  6. Malcolm Street

    Shades of The Newcastle Herald’s work on child sexual abuse in the Hunter.

  7. Liamj

    How unprofessional to glorify this ridiculous conspiracy theory, next thing you’ll be claiming that bishops hide paedophile priests, cabinet ministers cheat on their expenses, and lone gunmen shot JFK, RFK, MLK, MalcolmX, & Lennon.

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