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Friday, February 20, 2015

Newspaper Can't Post The Reality. It's Walker's Budget They Oppose, Not The State's

Not a big story on this one but more of a reminder note on how the Janesville Gazette can't bring itself to post an op-ed title that matches the political reality of the content. Wednesday's hard copy contained a front page opinion index panel with the title, Don't let state budget neuter authority of Natural Resources Board. Turn to the Opinion Page and the "Our Views" editorial carried the same title, but the first sentence began with this...

JG Editorial
Gov. Scott Walker proposes stripping the Natural Resources Board's authority over the DNR secretary and making the seven-member citizen's group "advisory."

Bingo! It's Walker's budget proposal.

In their Web edition, the Opinion index has the same "state budget" title, but for some reason, the visible teaser sentence is not the first sentence (Gov. Scott Walker proposes ...) of the article, it's something entirely different.

Again, this is not a big story, but apparently the Gazette can't bring itself to publish, "Don't let Scott Walker neuter authority" or "oppose Scott Walker's budget," anywhere in the reader's viewable line-of-sight. They can't because the newspaper endorsed Walker for re-election in November with an editorial headliner screaming, "Let Gov. Walker finish the job!"

Now, I imagine some folks saying there's no way a newspaper would go through all that trouble to stay so tightly focused on such a politically guarded message. I would argue that it's no trouble at all because the political bias is built-in. Doing it is nearly effortless on their part.


Jake formerly of the LP said...

The editors decide what the headlines and lead are. This is absolutely a decision made by the Gazette's bosses.

It's why I hammer the Journal-Sentinel for where they choose to place stories, and their misleading headlines. It tells who they really favor (Walker)

Anonymous said...

I know a number of the editors at the Gazette. I think you would be surprised to know that they are strong Democrats.You assign motive where this none. I would encourage you to visit them at work.

Lou Kaye said...

For one, I'm not implying they are not democrats. At the same time, I understand the sensitive position they are in if they overemphasize touchie political issues. BUT, I've been following the Gazette for more than a decade and now have literally several hundred posts from over that period that make a fairly strong case for bias. I have even given them the benefit of the doubt many times only to find my suspicions confirmed again and again. They are professionals and they have a subscription they must protect.

On the other hand, I would welcome examples of democratic leaning or union favoring articles, placement and headlines that can balance my perspective and convince me otherwise.

I would happily engage in a simple civil discussion here over those examples.

Anonymous said...

Have you been to the Gazette and interviewed the people who make those decisions? Do you know what goes into the choices of where stories are placed in the paper and where on those pages? Do you know how a newsroom works?
If not, that means your case for bias is based on your opinions and your suspicions - not facts. You don't know the full story of how those decisions were made, so to see bias is only coming from your perspective.
If the job of the media is to report the news, then democratic leaning or union favoring articles would be just as bad any articles that favor the GOP and their side.
Either way, you've made the Gazette look bad - based on opinion, bias and suspicion. That is just what you accuse he Gazette of doing.

Lou Kaye said...

Anon. I've been through this nearly identical convo several times including one with an editor 6-7 years ago. My answer to you is the same I gave to them and him. This is not personal and I don't need to know how the Gazette operates or makes its decisions. I told them the proof is in the finished product. I also hope people take notice of the bias I project TO AS equal to the bias I portray in the Gazette - as your last sentence suggests. If you see that bias mirror ...and I'm a blog and they're supposed to be the 4th estate, I would think there's a problem to check on at the paper.

The history I have here on the Gazette is even shocking to me as I look at the totality. You sound in the know on this and probably from the Gazette or employee family and that's cool. Here is a short essay about reality being like a wheel I wrote about 5 years ago that ties in with an editorial. I'm not trying to "school you" or play gotcha, but It may help you understand my view or maybe not since you understand their view so well. Check it out or not.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion this is Bliss calling the shots.

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