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At UW-Whitewater, For All That Value, Too Little Administrative Respect for Values

There’s a press release (screenshot here) contending that UW-Whitewater contributes a large sum – hundreds of millions – to the Wisconsin economy. The release is written by Assistant Vice Chancellor Sara Kuhl. Kuhl begins the release touting the power and influence of the university by misspelling a common English word (emphasis added): UW-Whitewater, one of…

Janesville Gazette’s Reprehensible Story About an Alleged Sexual Assault

At the nearby Janesville Gazette, there’s a story about an alleged sexual assault that’s simply reprehensible reporting: Excessive drinking was prelude to sex assault, court document alleges. (The reporter, Frank Schultz; editor, Sid Schwartz.) Here’s how Schultz’s story begins – a single-sentence first paragraph: An 18-year-old Janesville man is accused of second-degree sexual assault after…

Why Feature Stories on Major Topics are Now Often a Waste of Time

Feature stories on major topics, in which the author begins a multi-paragraph description of a person or scene before offering a substantive consideration of the topic, have today little use in newspapers.  These stories are meant to set a scene, and perhaps evoke emotions in readers who are, the author presumes, indifferent or ignorant of…

The Janesville Gazette‘s Sketchy Reporting on Major Topics

The nearby Janesville Gazette, a newspaper that insists ‘local matters,’ too often reports on Whitewater’s local matters in a careless way, ignoring key information.  Whether that paper’s omissions are through negligence or by design, reporting like this ill-serves Whitewater. (In fairness, the Gazette long ago ran itself into the ground, and sold out this summer…

Does Anyone at the Janesville Gazette Have a Dictionary?

Recently,  the Janesville Gazette‘s editorialist tried to defend remarks from Trump’s secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, about the demise of family farmers. See Our Views: Ag secretary’s reality check wasn’t callous. In that defense, one finds that the Gazette‘s editorialist neither understands the meaning of simple English words nor basic economics. The secretary of agriculture said…

Kakistocracy

There’s a vast difference between the average Trump supporter (similar in most ways to most people) and the people who served in the Trump Campaign and who will serve in a Trump Administration (composed of generous helpings of mediocrities, liars, or bigots). Ryan Lizza’s found the Greek term kakistocracy, a term that will apply nicely to…

This Is What It’s Like To Read Lips

How do you use one sense to do the work of another? Can You Read My Lips? is a short film about the imprecise art of lip-reading based on the essay “Seeing at the Speed of Sound,” by Rachel Kolb, who narrates and stars in the video. “Lipreading…is an inherently tenuous mode of communication,” she…