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Why Dirty Dogs Roam With Impunity

I’ve written before about the foul mess that is the ‘Warriors and Wizards’ festival in Jefferson (formerly a Harry Potter festival before Warner Bros. shut that usage down). So, how is it that city officials, ‘development professionals,’ lying publishers, and bottom-shelf promoters get away with wasting tens of thousands in public funds each year while simultaneously…

No Ordinary, Unconnected Spouse: Public officials’ use of family appointees

Imagine a world where public officials appointed spouses to high-visibility positions in the very same workplace, over which they had supervisory authority, but then disclaimed any responsibility over those appointees when they committed acts of assault and harassment (“that wasn’t me, that was my spouse, brother, sister, or cousin,” etc.). They’ll rely on their own…

‘A Free Press Needs You’

Following Trump’s repeated attacks on the press as the enemy of the people, hundreds of publications across America are today uniting in a defense of their right to free expression. The editorial board of the New York Times, in A Free Press Needs You, describes our heritage and the threat to it: In 1787, the…

Print: The Look of a Serious Commitment

Yesterday’s post described Print’s Continuing Decline (and the Message for Digital) with an example of proposed changes to the Janesville Gazette, as editor Sid Schwartz described them.  (See, from Schwartz, Objective: Preserve local journalism in the face of rising costs.) While the Gazette‘s announcement describes steps they’ll take to save money, it mentions nothing about what the paper…

Print’s Continuing Decline (and the Message for Digital)

One can be a critic of newspapers (for their low quality and high boosterism), and yet feel a sadness at their decline. There’s a notice in the Janesville Gazette about downsizing of the daily print edition. See Objective: Preserve local journalism in the face of rising costs. Editor Sid Schwartz tells readers that the Gazette…

Small-Town News and “The Value of Accuracy”

Over at The Atlantic, David Beard writes about The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life. The story’s not, to my mind, a recommendation that Whitewater’s library should publish a news site – Whitewater has digital and print publications in town and nearby. The story’s interesting for how important accuracy is to news publishing: When…

Print Retreats to Print

Local print publications are struggling, and so they’ve decided to retreat to print publishing. See Twilight (Part 1 of a Series). At the Gazette, they’ve established a high paywall (after one three articles viewed per month), and as for ambitions for Walworth County, one need only consider what happened to that publisher’s WalworthCountyToday.com: At the…

Twilight (Part 1 of a Series)

One reads that the Janesville Gazette is activating a full-site paywall (three free articles a month, day pass for a dollar, Facebook comment authorization, etc.). The stated reason is that the Gazette needs money (“Digital advertising and marketing don’t generate enough revenue to cover the expenses of our local journalism”). A few observations: 1. Private…

‘Don’t worry about them – the rest of us feel great!

A doctor walks into a town of one-hundred people, and finds that half of them are pale, feverish, and vomiting blood. The physician calls out to a community leader, “Send for help, you have an epidemic on your hands.” The community leader replies, “Oh no, don’t worry about them – the rest of us feel…

A Telling Comparison

People in small towns, nearly everywhere in this country, have access to national programming & news on television and online. As easily as one could subscribe online to something like the Janesville Gazette, one could subscribe to the Chicago Tribune or Washington Post. Imagine, then, a choice between editorials in the Gazette and the Post…

Construction Updates

How much time should a school district spend describing the stages of an ongoing construction project? My answer would be that very little time should be spent on the subject, with a summary of perhaps a minute or two, a more-detailed written description for reference and transparency, and brief time for pertinent questions. That’s all.…