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Daily Bread for 6.14.22: When (Local) Government Treats Abnormal as Normal

Good morning. Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 97. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 19m 13s of daytime.  The moon is full with 100% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Public Works Committee meets at 6 PM. On this day in 1775,  the Continental Army is established by…

Daily Bread for 6.13.22: Wisconsin Examiner Reports ‘Complaints mount over conduct of Whitewater PD’

Good morning. Monday in Whitewater will see afternoon thundershowers with a high of 87. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:34 PM for 15h 18m 47s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.5% of its visible disk illuminated. Whitewater’s Planning Commission meets at 6 PM. On this day in 1777,  Gilbert du Motier,…

Daily Bread for 5.11.22: The Neediness of Conservative Populists

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 84.  Sunrise is 5:35 AM and sunset 8:07 PM for 14h 32m 00s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 74% of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1997 Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last…

‘Communicate, Communicate, Communicate’ Isn’t So Easy in a Fractured Town

Some years ago, an administrator (no longer with the school district) told others that a good practice for leaders was to ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’ with the community. The concept makes sense: craft a message and then make sure it’s heard by repeating it. In a small town, how hard could that be? As it turns…

Why People Still Get Print Newspapers

In Whitewater – like other small places across America – there may still be nearby newspapers, but none of any merit. If one thought only of quality as the measure of survival, then for the Whitewater area the Gazette, Daily Union, and Register would long ago have vanished. (Indeed, I have underestimated the longevity of…

The Journal Sentinel’s Footnoted Reply to Ron Johnson’s Op-Ed

Last week, the Journal Sentinel called on Sen. Ron Johnson to resign or be expelled over his repeated election-related lies and conspiracy theories. Johnson wrote in reply to the paper. In response to his reply, the Journal Sentinel footnoted Johnson’s reply with 19 specific refutations. A few remarks: If Johnson runs again, the Journal Sentinel won’t decide…

Campaign Conflicts of Interest at a Self-Described Local News Source

The Whitewater Unified School District’s board will see a contested February primary and a contested April general election. Regrettably, Whitewater has no professional newspaper, print or electronic, to cover that race. A post from today at the Whitewater Banner, entitled “Whitewater Unified School District Returns to In-Person Learning; Tom Ganser Photos Show the Excitement at…

After a News Desert

A news desert is a community without coverage from a daily newspaper. If coverage means timely newspaper reporting on a city’s principal public meetings and events, then Whitewater has been a news desert since the nearby Daily Jefferson County Union stopped reporting on Whitewater’s common council & school board meetings. If coverage means timely, insightful,…

Public Relations v. Journalism

Anyone familiar with a proper newspaper should be able to tell the difference between public relations and journalism: the former advances a corporate or government perspective, the latter reports and assesses that perspective. There are public relations outfits (often called media relations) in big and small communities, with this obvious difference: small communities have few…

The Janesville Gazette‘s Time-Share Stage of Decline

A nearby newspaper, the Janesville Gazette, part of an out-of-state chain (APG) owned by a family that made billions in billboard advertising, recently tried to position half-off advertising as a ‘community grant‘ program. See That’s Not a ‘Community Grant’ – It’s Half-Off Advertising. It’s an old – often true – adage that bad goes to…

Saving What’s Left of the Janesville Gazette

The nearby Janesville Gazette is ending its Saturday and Sunday print editions. See The Gazette to cease Saturday, Sunday print editions. The Saturday edition should have been canceled years ago; ending a Sunday edition, however, is a sign of a grave illness.  For any paper, even one treading water, the Sunday edition should be a mainstay.…

Demand Letters

A demand letter is an attorney’s formal request on behalf of a client for either money or action from a third party. Demand letters can be sent before or after a lawsuit is filed. Although these letters typically demand an amount of money, they can also ask for actions including apologies or retractions for a…