Oct 18, 2015

Canceling Our Wisconsin State Journal Subscription

South-central Wisconsin daily chooses ideology over facts and evidence

This household will receive its last hard copy issue of the Wisconsin State Journal this week. We are canceling our subscription. Our original subscription was for the Capital Times, and we were led to the State Journal kicking and screaming as it was the last resort of a print daily in Madison.

The State Journal has increasingly nixed local coverage like many print dailies, but the State Journal stands out in this regard especially after it axed veteran writers Doug Moe and sports writers Andy Baggot and Dennis Semrau last June, deciding profits are more interesting than people and local policymaking (Lueders, Isthmus).

Unlike other dailies, the State Journal can't blame its dispensing with community coverage on corporate media consolidation, social media, and the Internet (Peck, Editor and Publisher and George, Mediashift).

The State Journal made its decision, and chose hard-right ideology over facts, evidence and analysis; stenography over investigation and reporting. This echoes the rest of the corporate press.

The lifeblood of print dailies, local coverage, appears a quaint memory today.

There is a group of talented reporters still at the State Journal but their copy is almost always slanted toward the Republican Party of Wisconsin by copy editors (they write the headlines), and the perverse conventions of modern journalism, refusing to note as fact the duplicity of political office holders and their paymasters during this period of unprecedented corruption and lawlessness.

As an aside, we note with appreciation the tenacity and outstanding performance of our newspaper carrier.

More important than the depletion of local coverage—a hole being filled in Dane County in part by Woodward Communications, Inc.'s Unified Newspaper Group based in Verona and the weekly Isthmus—is the undeniable fact the State Journal is and has been a propaganda sheet for the rightist Republican Party in its slanted news and disingenuous editorial page.

The State Journal has followed the crazed Republican Party of Wisconsin right off the cliff, damn the consequences for the state.

Its refusal to endorse Scott Walker last year was an act of self preservation, yet even this editorial omits the myriad scandals and economic, social, and environmental disasters that Walker has inflicted onto Wisconsin.

Instead in the milquetoast endorsement of Walker's opponent, Mary Burke, the State Journal describes Walker as divisive and his tenure in chairing his signature 'jobs' agency as sloppy and disappointing.

Corrupt, vindictive, spiteful, destructive and betraying of generations of Wisconsinites would have been more appropriate language in describing Scott Walker, as the editors of the State Journal are aware.

Our household is no longer prepared to support this Republican propaganda organ and the pamphleteers producing it. We'll pick up our free print edition of the local Capital Times, (delivered to subscribers on Wednesdays with the State Journal), at the Meadowridge library.

On a final note, the subscription price of the State Journal varies widely and depends on little known and seemingly arbitrary ways to sign up. Last year we found out that we paid nearly double of what others paid for the same service. This after paying that high fee for over 18 years. There have been many times since the Capital Times became a weekly that we have considered canceling our subscription to the State Journal, but now with all these factors piling up, it seems a wiser choice to get our local news from more locally minded sources, such as WKOW and WISC television.

1 comment:

  1. Agree with every word. Investigative journalism is sorely needed in our State.