Monday, February 20, 2017

CT's Dave Zweifel wants the DNR's magazine saved

Dave Zweifel, lifelong journalist and editor emeritus of the Madison Capital Times, urges his "Plain Talk" column readers to subscribe to the Department of Natural Resources' popular magazine 
Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine cover photo
which the Walker administration wants to wipe out - - like it did with climate change information scrubbed from agency web pages - - even though the magazine is completely supported by its 88,000 subscribers.

The column headline nails it:

Send a message to Scott Walker by subscribing to threatened DNR magazine
I wrote about the threat to the people's 99-year-old magazine last week on my blog and signed up for a three-year subscription for only $21.97. 

One or two year subs are only slightly more per year; all are less than $9 annually.

Here is a link to an online subscription form. 

Walker's goal is completely ideological, regardless of whatever story line the administration puts out about bureaucracy and efficiency.

The magazine had reported, sometimes unsuccessfully, on the impact of climate change on Wisconsin's environment, and that eyes-wide-open approach to public information probably put it in Walker's budgetary cross hairs.

After Walker took office in 2011, his appointees and other top managers at the DNR insisted on seeing every article before publication, said Natasha Kassulke, who left the DNR last summer after 15 years, including five editing the magazine.
The scrutiny grew tighter after the magazine carried a special section on climate change produced by the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Kassulke said.
DNR managers spiked an article on how climate change affects Wisconsin mammals, as well as a piece on an endangered species whose primary habitat was around the proposed site for a controversial iron mine that was being promoted by Walker and GOP lawmakers, [the former editor] Kassulka said.
Remember the administration's ham-handed, failed schemes to get the public mission role of the UW system deleted from the Wisconsin Idea?

Remember its slippery plan to make the Open Records law essentially useless?

Government by deletion is anti-democratic and only serves special interests.

Thanks to the Cap Times for Zweifel's public service column.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I get what you all are trying to do and I applaud it. They have cut all outreach and have wanted to cut the magazine for a long time. The new review process for all articles in the magazine involves division administrators, communications staff and the department spokesman, none of whom care about a magazine and none of whom have the time to review articles. They could hire an editor but because they don't trust anyone they would still have to do their extensive reviews which they, again, have no interest in. I wish all new subscribers well.