Before Devin Nunes, in Whitewater & Small Towns Across America…

One reads that GOP Congressman Devin Nunes of California has launched his own news site: LOS ANGELES — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a relentless critic of the media, has found a way around the often unflattering coverage of his role in the Trump-Russia investigation — by operating his own partisan news outlet. Resembling […]

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 […]

Reading Next: Truth Decay (‘An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life’)

I’m currently reading Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury on the Trump campaign & administration. (FW has a currently reading widget on the right sidebar of this website.) Afterward, I’ve something in queue, from Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich – their just-published Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis […]

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 […]

‘Backed themselves into this corner’

There are local versions of the problem Fox News now faces as a flack for Trump. First, the Fox situation, then the local equivalent — Nationally, the Daily Beast website writes of remarks from a former Fox News contributor & panelist: [Andy] Levy, who served for 10 years as “ombudsman” and nightly panelist on Fox […]

‘This is an Apple’

“Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana.” #FactsFirst pic.twitter.com/LbmRKiGJe9 — CNN (@CNN) October 23, 2017 I haven’t watched CNN in years, to be honest, but their promotional advertisement about Trump’s alternative facts outlook is spot on. It’s more common for me to read than to watch cable news, but my two […]

Media Dependency

Concerning national publications, Eliana Johnson describes How Trump Blew Up the Conservative Media. Her observation on this point has local relevancy (both about and apart from Trump). Here’s Johnson’s key observation: “For the 89 percent of Republican voters who cast ballots for Trump, their backing represented a departure from many of the principles that have […]

Sunshine Week in Wisconsin

The USA Today Network of Gannett papers in Wisconsin (including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) asks How open is your government? Tell us: They’re entrusted with important responsibilities to keep people safe, educate kids, maintain roads and enforce rules fairly. Taxpayers fund their salaries. But just how public are public officials? That’s what we want to know. As […]

Yes, It Is

Journalism is more than stenography https://t.co/1Dmo3dJ3RP — Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 10, 2017 I couldn’t agree more.

Trump Will Force Choices the Local Press is Too Weak to Make

A sound critique of the national print press says that it has a limited time left. See, concerning the work of Clay Shirky, A Prediction of Print’s ‘Fast, Slow, Fast’ Decline. Market forces will also take their toll on the local print press, and even now local papers are useful only for The Last Inside Accounts (rather than […]

Why Trump Press Secretary Spicer Lies

Anna Rascouët-Paz relates an explanation (from someone who worked in a past administration) for Trump press secretary Spicer’s repeated lies about inaugural crowd size.  It’s spot on: For more on a disinformation strategy based on insisting that nothing is knowable, see The Russian Conspiracy on Behalf of Conspiracy Theorist Donald Trump (“there is a coherent pattern […]

Fake News Was a Local Problem Before It Was a National One

There’s post-election consternation about the amount of bogus news sites on social media.  This concern pairs with the worry that fact-checking from major news organizations doesn’t work well when candidates simply lie and refuse either correction or apology. This may be a recent national development – at least on this scale – but local news for […]