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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Scott Walker Rethinks Stimulus Aid: Ideology Bows to Reality | Main | Pete Seeger - A report from a friend on his recent concert »

January 12, 2009


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Elites don't need a well-informed, well- educated people capable of critical thinking. That's against their interests. They don't want people sitting around the kitchen table figuring out how they are getting screwed. The elites want people like Joe the Plumber who feels that reporting wars and politics are upsetting. Plenty of money for Joe's reporting and a national audience!


> Those journalists are supported by newspapers, not the Internet.

Why? Newspapers aren't providing value to content creators like they used to. Why should content creators work for them when the overhead of just making the content available themselves in whatever unrestricted formats they want is so low? The idea that information needs to be orderly and vetted and from some central source is an artifact of a bygone age when information cohesion and distribution was prohibitively expensive. Now, information brokerage is closer to meritocracy than it ever has been; if someone produces good writing, or good news, they don't need a newspaper to get it to market, and they can have as many column inches as they need to get their point across.

I know several people that are supported by the internet; that they aren't the same people who used to write for newspapers isn't really relevant to anyone but the ex-newspaper writers who couldn't adapt.

> Newspapers conduct the investigations; they do the reporting.

No, they don't. People do the investigations and the reporting, and the newspapers pay them part of what it's worth, minus the huge legacy costs of doing business the old fashioned way. News aggregation sites can provide far more visibility than a print journal at a fraction of the hassle and cost. Tom Still's article seems fixated on how Yahoo and AOL won't be covering the local school board meetings, but he's missing even a basic understanding of how information is spread in the modern era. If I wanted coverage of the school board, it took me 20 seconds to find the meeting minutes online and another two minutes to find which has more coverage, discussion, interest and passion by far than any local paper. The rest of his local coverage complaints are equally absurd. Just because everything isn't coming from one central, orthodox source doesn't mean that it's not available, it just means it's not crushed, spiked and filtered into gruel.

> Those of us who blog are not reporters or journalists in the true sense of the word.

Blatantly false. Real biting research is done by online journalists now more than by print journalists. There are more journalists currently imprisoned for online speech than for print.

Every day, we are more in a world where the people who know and care the most about any particular idea or event can make their minds available to the entire world instantly, freely and for free, and the people who care to listen or read can find them. The public is beginning to realize this, and the newspapers have failed to adapt. They're dinosaurs, and their tiny, reptilian brains can't figure out how the Internet keeps eating their eggs. Let them die out, or find them a new role to adapt into, don't just whine about how the times are changing and they can't keep up.

Robert C. Cushing

In my view, the reason for the diminished readership of newspapers is the same as for any other business that has lost customers; their product sucks. The State Journal has become so bland that reading it is about as exciting as a mashed potato sandwich. In recent days they have editorialized against speeding and drunk driving. What's next? Coming out strongly against typhoid fever?

Call me crazy but is it too much to ask for a newspaper to deliver the news? Features are fine but I'd like to know what the heck is going on in our city, state, nation, and world. If I can't find it in my newspaper I'll sure as heck go elsewhere to find it just as I would any other product.

I used to wonder if the journalistic profession viewed its readership as too dumb and disinterested to care about product quality. Lately I've come to think it might be the other way around.

Frankly, I miss the print edition of the Capital Times. Ironically, I cannot recall a single editorial position taken by the Capital Times that I even remotely agree with but the paper had a real personality...a pizzazz of its own. Reading it, having it in my hands, and coming back to it later was like spending time with quirky friends whose company I enjoy and look forward to sharing. My disagreement with its ultra-progressive stance only served to challenge me and make me think. Granted, towards the end the writing got sloppy with poor grammar and colloqialisms galore but nevertheless it was obvious the people writing it and editing it at least gave a damn about important things.


My favorite example of The Wisconsin State Journal's hypocrisy is their campaign to end Doyle's "frankenstein veto." Never mind that for years and years, Governor Tommy used the same veto powers. Even the WSJ editorial board was embarrassed by the discrepancy, so they said that they had in fact editorialized about the veto, once, when Tommy was Governor. Yeah, that's "fair and balanced": one editorial wistfully hoping that Tommy would restrict his use of the veto is the same as running daily front-page editorials with caricatures of Gov. Doyle as frankenstein for months on end.

Treat your customers and potential customers like idiots, and you will, rightfully, go out of business.

Knute Knutson

I'm agree w/ Robt C. Cushing. The State Journal is just a crappy paper. I subscribe to another daily newspaper but I'd never waste my money on the State Journal.


> anonymous: "The Wisconsin State Journal has a right-wing editorial page. Disagree.
citation needed.

Wisconsin State Journal presidential endorsements
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008
WSJ endorsement: Clinton Dole Bush Bush Obama
winner of Wisconsin: Clinton Clinton Gore Kerry Obama

The editorial board has consistently favored more conservative candidates than Wisconsin voters.
The bias of the editorials would seem to be to the right of most Wisconsin residents, never mind us hippy liberals in Madison. This is one of the reasons why I stopped reading the paper.

George Hesselberg

My "tiny reptilian brain" retained enough of a rudimentary thought process to reach back into my history of philosophy and logic class and recall a truth that anonymity disguises everything but ignorance.
My philosophy on media is pretty simple: inclusive is better than exclusive.
Cheers guys, stay warm.


The endorsements of Bush in 2000 and 2004 were exceptionally meretricious. In 2000, the line was that Bush will bring this sadly divided country back together. Divided? Clinton had 68% approval or something at the end of his term, no thanks to the sustained right-wing campaign to depose him, participated in fully and enthusiastically by the Wisconsin State Journal throughout his term.

Then in 2004, oblivious to the divisive theme, they backed Bush again, their publisher having no trouble, in his own name, swift-boating Kerry.

More recently, they did what they could to sink 92.1 the Mic, good riddance said they. This is a hard-right operation from the get-go and they take peculiar pleasure in spiting their community. I would poke myself in the eye before resubscribing to this pile of offal.


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