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Archive for May 2009

What happens when a one-newspaper town becomes a no-newspaper town?

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This year large metropolitan newspapers have folded in Seattle, Denver, and Tucson. More will likely follow. Journalists at the Post-Intelligencer, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Citizen joined the 10,000 print newsies downsized or bought out from print newsrooms over the past few decade. Media pundits (including me) cluck-cluck incessantly over these democracy-wrenching signs of the impending journalistic apocalypse.

But readers in those cities still have print options for newspapers providing some local news.

Not so in the mountain town of Carbondale, Colo., whose population about equals its elevation. The Valley Journal, founded in 1975, had its plug pulled in March, reports DeeDee Correll of the Center for Rural Affairs. The 6,000 residents had no other sources of local news.

Their solution: Publish a newspaper themselves.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The tributaries of the mainstream

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Break out the linguistic life jackets, folks. We’re about to be inundated with the overuse and abuse of the word mainstream with regard to President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Politics is at its heart a battle for control of language and symbols. Now that the president has nominated Judge Sotomayor, [insert name of political party or faction here] will seek to [support | undercut] that nominee through [messaging | framing | “truth”]. Ideological control of mainstream, a word signifying ownership of the core values of a majority of Americans, is at stake.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 26, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A jobs act that created no jobs: a lesson in profitable lobbying

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You’re a coalition of multinational corporations. Imagine this deal: Invest $1 in lobbying. Get a return on investment of $220. Save $100 billion on taxes, too. Nice, eh?

That’s the conclusion of three University of Kansas professors who undertook an empirical analysis of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 to study rates of return for money spent on lobbying, reported The Washington Post in an April 12 story by Dan Eggen.

This law — this shady excuse for a law with a name only charlatans could love — allowed companies that had earned profits overseas to inexpensively bring that money back into the States. The customary tax rate on such profits was 35 percent. But this elegantly named process — repatriation of profits — gave companies a one-time chance four years ago to haul the money home, paying only 5.25 percent.

The act was a tax holiday sought by a coalition of companies, primarily big pharmaceutical and high-technology corporations, all because they sought to pay little or no taxes on profits generated overseas — and they concocted a successful scheme to pull it off.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

May 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized