Friday, February 28, 2014

Right-Wing Damage To Milwaukee Media Scene Assessed

I've been saying since 2011 - - an example from more than a dozen instances, here - - that you need to be reading veteran Milwaukee journalist Dom Noth's political writing.

Dom had a long career as editor and critic at The Milwaukee Journal, then as editor at Milwaukee Labor Press and now as a serious blogger at "Dom's Domain" producing commentaries like this examination of the rightward lurch by Journal Communications:

Journal Communications is now more the media conglomerate parallel of the right-wing Bradley Foundation, revealing its real political leaning in where it puts its resources and attention. For instance JS still makes nods to the community at large in some of its beats and feature columns as it must, but look at the weight. 
It’s much like how the Bradley Foundation, with millions to play with annually, gives $18,000 to the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre or $10,000 to the Urban Ecology Center but lards $3 million on the Charter School Growth Fund or $190,000 to the right-wing attack center known as the McIver Institute. The lack of balance exposes the motivations.
Noth extends props to the Journal Sentinel's investigative columnist Dan Bice and asks a provocative question:
Dare I suggest he and a few similarly devoted colleagues have become the only remaining justification for regarding the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as legitimate? 
It's a variation on broader themes that Noth has raised before, and which gain in relevancy the longer Walker ducks and dodges a comprehensive accounting to media and voters of the existence of a secret email system allowed to run a few feet from his Milwaukee County Executive office door, and full acceptance of responsibility for the actions - - some felonious, other merely reprehensible - - of his publicly-paid appointees:
Why is it considered bias in Wisconsin to rigidly examine a politician who has a blatant ideological agenda? That is slowly happening on the East Coast where the media ideology was not friendly to Christie at the start but now recognizes the need to investigate hard. Locally, media ideology is friendly to Walker but stuck in neutral. Why? Shouldn’t a Fourth Estate be rewarded by advertisers and readers for doing its job?
Noth's commentary may irk people at the newspaper and the parent corporation's Broadcast operations and executive offices. 

Noth's writing may not win him new friends in newsrooms.

Media don't necessarily do well absorbing open criticism; I remember former Journal editors Steve Hannah and Sig Gissler going ballistic when Milwaukee Magazine produced a profile they thought unflattering to the paper's direction.

But all those ironies aside, Noth raises important issues and the community will benefit from the debate. 

1 comment:

Boxer said...

" . . . Media don't necessarily do well absorbing open criticism; . . . . going ballistic when Milwaukee Magazine produced a profile they thought unflattering to the paper's direction. . . . "

and yet, it continued in that direction, and look where it is today.