What’s wrong with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel?

this pretty much answers the question…

The newspaper is in a difficult position. Circulation keeps plunging. Influence is all but gone. They barely cover the news themselves anymore. But they can win prizes for blockbusters. And that’s what drives them.

I love blockbusters. The series the paper ran on the scam in day-care providers was not only great journalism but a great public service. When they discovered that horrible pension scandal in the county they shook local government to its very foundations.

Pulitzer Prizes followed. The most hallowed of all prizes in the world of journalism.

I’ve been told by people in a position to know that the paper has decided that covering all the news is beyond their scope now, with its shadow staff and limited resources. So, they have decided to go all-in on what some at the paper call “Pulitzer Pursuit.” That’s where their best reporters are tasked and that’s where their resources go.


Related Articles

10 thoughts on “What’s wrong with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel?

  1. If it’s blockbusters they’re going after, how about they sink their teeth into rigged voting machines?

    1. Yeah, I’ve heard lots of unfavorable things about the voting machines they’re using in some parts of the state, and that’s a story I’d be interested in reading.

  2. Here in western Wisconsin, it has been impossible to buy a Journal Sentinel for years and other times the quantity was limited. It almost seemed their poor distribution system was attempting to destroy the market for the best newspaper in the state. The demand was here as evidenced by local outlets being “sold out” during the times when distribution was not dysfunctional.

  3. I think the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hurt Wisconsin by not covering Scott Walker completely and honestly. And how in the world could they have endorsed him? Jeepers! They know more about him than many citizens in the state know, and they buried that information.

    I watched an interview with one of their editors on TV, and the editor said he felt the recall was only justifiable if there had been criminal malfeasance. But a laugh escaped him as he said it. I think he had a hard time hiding the fact that he knew Walker was not the paragon of virtue that he pretends to be.

    I also watched another one of their editors on numerous TV shows before the recall election, and I won’t say his name, but his smugness was offensive. He acted as if he was a brilliant man who knew so much more than the people who were calling in by phone to ask him questions. I do think he had more information about Scott Walker’s shenanigans than the general public has. And I feel it was wrong of him to protect Walker.

    One of their writers, Daniel Bice, is worth reading. I can see that he tries to be objective. But I think that overall, the paper seems to be a propaganda sheet for Republicans. If they are running low on money, why don’t they print the news fairly and objectively? If they did, more people would find their paper worth buying.

    1. Holly, you make a great point – one that Zach has made to in a previous post – about the idea that recalls should only be occur in the face of criminal malfeasance. That notion is Right Wing Propaganda. The Wisconsin Constitution does not specify criminal malfeasance in its recall provision. For the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial staff to make that case is unjustifiable. MJS is not journalism.

      There are serious issues surrounding the collapse of journalism in this country. Without vibrant investigative journalism democracy cannot be maintained. But the problems with MJS extend far beyond those facing all journalism outlets today. Journalistic integrity and sophisticated editorials would increase their circulation.

  4. A couple of days before the election, I read a story , JS Online, that detailed
    Scott Walker and Co. moves all through the 2010 election, “dropping the bomb”, who he contacted, who did what and when, including all the players. It read like a good suspense novel. The story was written by as many as four reporters, it was long and I intended to come back and read it more closely. I thought “WoW–this is going to change the election when people read this!”

    When I went back too reread and absorb details, it was gone from the website. I looked for the story in the paper the next day and it was not there. I’ve never seen it since. It really makes me mad to lose such a good story notifying the citizens what went on in our state. Makes me want to know now what is going on that we won’t know about until it’s too late! That has never happened to another story, as I often read the paper and JS Online like this, first one and then the other.

    I assume the editors killed it for political reasons. I’d also love to know if anybody else caught the story before it got blasted away.

  5. We all understand the plight of newspapers. We also desire newspapers to cover the things that matter to us, and perhaps even want them to report it ‘our’ way. I just want to suggest, and Zach nailed it over the way newspapers can handle big investigative type stories such as the one dealing with day-care. that for all the comments we may have about the MJS, what would we do without them, or other papers. Might I suggest the The Journal Times of Racine stands out for their pushing to have the details of the agreement over their mayor involving the slander suit made known to the pubic. I have long considered newspapers to be the public watchdogs when it comes to making sure government operates in the best interest of the citizenry. There are always reasons to evaluate coverage, but at the end of the day let us all be proud of the newspapers that cover the isuses that need our attention.

  6. Why would I pay for a newspaper that is a partisan rag? MJS corporate media decided to promote/protect Scott Walker and other Republican politicians; why would anyone who supported the opposition give money to further the fortunes of MJS.

  7. This information is why Tammy Baldwin’s ad is weak. It’s not as weak as Kristin Dexter’s ads were, but it is weak. When you consider that each ad Baldwin produces has to match 25 that her opposition will produce, that means disaster.
    I’m very sorry to have to say this and I only do it because I care and because I have a long history in advertising which permits me to form such opinions.

Comments are closed.