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APG Was Always Going to Play a Vulture’s Role

One reads that APG, the out-of-state newspaper chain that purchased two local family papers (Janesville Gazette, Daily Jefferson County Union) is slashing the salaries of those papers’ employees. A few remarks — I’m not a newspaperman, and have never aspired to be one. Bloggers are modern-day pamphleteers, reviving a tradition that was robust during our…

A Newspaper’s Boosterism During a Pandemic

A worthy person – a man or woman committed to reason, honesty, and seriousness of purpose – would have little respect for the Janesville Gazette. This critical view is not a new one, truly: the paper’s work has been inferior during the Great Recession, during an opioid crisis, during cheerleading for countless state and local…

Five Months

In a local newspaper’s story about a former chancellor’s leave of absence, one learns that information about her leave came five months after a public records request: Tuesday marked five months since The Gazette filed an open records request with UW-W for information on Kopper’s leave during the fall semester, when she previously had plans…

Nothing Says Dog-Crap Publication Like Dog-Crap Ads

One can estimate a for-profit publication’s value in the marketplace by the ads it attracts. The leaves the Janesville Gazette, a rusty link in an out-of-state newspaper chain, in a weak position: it’s running dog-crap ads. Consider this canine calling-card displayed on the Gazette’s main page today, 1.9.20 (‘Trump Is On A Roll…Ends Another Obama…

If Not 2020, When?

In August, the Journal Sentinel published a story, Liberal ‘news’ websites launching in Wisconsin, where conservative versions have thrived. (From the viewpoint of the JS, these are ‘news’ sites not news sites, as the paper is suspicious of non-traditional reporting. Without seeing some of the online publications, however, the scare quotes seem presumptuous.) These months later, only…

Cancel Your Local Newspaper?

Over at Politico, press critic Jack Shafer writes – provocatively – Care About Journalism? Maybe You Should Cancel Your Newspaper: It’s heresy for a journalist to ask readers to consider dropping their newspaper. Beyond the obvious self-interest, reporters and editors consider a subscription to your local newspaper as a paramount civic duty, a view shared by…

‘Bothsiderism’

Gina Overholser, a writing about a liberal paper, remarks of the New York Times that Its investigative and enterprise work rises to today’s unprecedented challenges. But in day-to-day political reporting, the Times is hopelessly stuck in the past. Its proud allegiance to presenting “both sides” in a time of political breakdown renders it a handmaiden…

On the Scatalogical

It’s a crime (and a repulsive wrong) for someone to relieve himself repeatedly – over years – on the grounds of a public park. (The park where this happened was Natureland, a small, lovely spot in this area where visitors deserved none of this.) Someone who does so should be – and recently was –…

The Lazy, False Equivalance in Craig Gilbert’s Analysis

A lazy, false equivalence runs through Craig Gilbert’s (@WisVoter) over-reliance on claims of hyper-partisanship. At the Journal Sentinel, he writes that ‘Nakedly partisan, rhetorically vicious’: Trump impeachment is echo of Clinton’s from two decades ago. The same conflation diminished Gilbert’s analysis in a 12.2.19 story (‘For voters in this purple part of Wisconsin, the impeachment…

Who Implied That Toppers Might Move Its Headquarters? Whitewater’s City Manager, That’s Who

In a Janesville Gazette story from 12.5, Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper, is reported as saying that another paper’s coverage incorrectly implied that Toppers Pizza might move its Whitewater headquarters. In fact, the video of a recent Community Development Authority (CDA) meeting from 11.21.19 reveals that it was Clapper, himself, who implied that Toppers might move.…

Local Government’s Failure to Speak Independently and Effectively

There’s a story at the Janesville Gazette that illustrates the inability of Whitewater, Wisconsin’s local government to communicate effectively on its own.  The story, primarily, is about the ongoing search for a stand-alone grocery store to come to Whitewater.  See Whitewater city manager remains ‘optimistic’ city will get a grocery store (Beleckis, reporter; Schwartz, editor). Routine,…

A Local Newspaper Squeaks

Local newspapers like the nearby Janesville Gazette often self-servingly contend that they’re like the last oasis before a news desert. It’s closer to the truth to say they’re a contributor to an increasingly arid local climate. Even stories that reveal some information hold back from readers other key documents that would aid in fuller understanding…

Government Breaks for Local Newspapers are a Bad, Bad Idea

There’s understandable worry that communities across America are losing their local newspapers, and so one hears that something simply must be done to save them.  Clara Hendrickson, in Local journalism in crisis: Why America must revive its local newsrooms, proposes that we (1) “provide public funding for local journalism” (via tax incentives, mainly), (2) “address…

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…