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Clever? Not Really…

One reads that the Daily Union, a local paper chasing alleged embezzlement first reported in the Janesville Gazette, has decided to grab the story and add a supposedly clever headline: Honest to goodness, how does editor Chris Spangler expect ordinary people to keep up with a subtle headline like that? One needs to take a…

The Middle Lane is a Dirt Road to Decay, Pt. 2

Last month, this site linked to media critic Margaret Sullivan’s observation that The media feel safest in the middle lane. Just ask Jeff Flake, John Kasich and Howard Schultz: Who is the media’s middle-lane approach actually good for? Not the public, certainly, since readers and viewers would benefit from strong viewpoints across the full spectrum…

Roundup on Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival

There are four recent developments in the debacle that has been the October Warriors and Wizards (formerly Harry Potter) Festival in Jefferson, Wisconsin.  Despite problems during its two years in Edgerton, Jefferson picked up the festival, and the Daily Jefferson County Union touted the shabby festival even as residents were screaming about the low quality…

Hedge Funds Have No Table Manners Whatever

Brian Stelter writes Gannett journalists anxious amid report that Digital First Media is circling the company: Cara Lombardo’s unsettling Sunday night scoop for the WSJ: “A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett, according to people familiar with the…

The Not-So-Daily Union

One reads that local Daily Union will begin delivery by mail, and that this will push forward the publication deadline by twelve hours.  While the change of delivery matters to subscribers, the change in publication deadline will matter more. The Daily Union will no longer be able to get a story on an evening meeting or…

Weak Underneath

The was an armed robbery in Whitewater this week. Robbery is wrong and armed robbery especially so.  There’s neither justification nor excuse for the crime. Radio station WFAW reported the crime in a straightforward way, but the Daily Union on Facebook crudely described the suspects not as black males (as would be conventional) but rather as male blacks. …

Print’s Decline (and the Limits of a Digital Lifeboat)

The Journal Sentinel has experienced astonishing declines in subscribers, truly large numbers that show serious trouble for the paper (and for smaller papers nearby). Looking at the best available circulation data for public companies – those found in their regulated financial statements – the Milwaukee Business Journal reports Journal Sentinel owner Gannett sets new round of early retirements, Journal Sentinel print…

New Developments About Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival

There are new, troubling developments concerning Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ festival, an event about which this website has been consistently critical (for many sound reasons). One can wait a day or so to see what this new reporting shows (and how accurate and honest the reporting is, considering how wobbly it’s been). In the…