If the Mainstream Press Ignore a Story, is it News?

Last week, our friends at the MacIver News Service reported a startling revelation.

The State of Wisconsin has again shuffled monies in order to meet continuing obligations, according to a memo made public Thursday.

Further, Governor Doyle’s Administration forecasts that during the month of December, the state’s General Fund may be more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the hole.

The Department of Administration released the forecast, and information regarding the fund balance transfers last week, although members of the Joint Committee on finance were first notified of the June fund conditions today.

The following day, MacIver News published another story that included the reaction of some prominent Republican lawmakers.

“This is the legacy of Jim Doyle,” State Representative Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) told MacIver News on Friday. “Out-of-control spending has real consequences and the  massive tax increases imposed by Democrats last year only fueled more spending and made matters worse.”

Minus a brief mention by a subscriber-based news service, neither the fact that the state is projecting its General Fund will be $261 million in the red, nor the legislative reaction to that revelation has received coverage in the traditional, mainstream press.  Fortunately, a few talk radio programs did discuss this topic, but they do not have the reach or market penetration of the newspapers and broadcast news outlets…yet.

Can you imagine that? The Doyle Administration is actually forecasting an imbalance of a quarter of billion dollars in the General Fund and most of the State of Wisconsin is clueless because for whatever reason, the news has gone unreported by traditional information sources. People may be suffering ‘bad economic news’ fatigue, but that’s not a reason to let such news go unreported.

It is a compelling example of the need for MacIver News Service to exist.

Through MNS, we provide the public with copyright free, original news reporting on the actions and policies of state and local governments, including the actions and policies of specific elected public servants. Our perspective pieces offer analysis and commentary on these same policies and people.

The MacIver Institute cares about public policy and the impact public policy decisions will have on Wisconsin’s future.

We understand the economic model of the news business has changed. Outlets that used to have significant resources devoted to following state government are now lucky to have one set of eyes watching the Capitol on a part-time basis.

In part, that’s why we started the MacIver News Service.

Any blogger, pamphleteer, newspaper or broadcast station in the state is free to reproduce our articles, with attribution, at no cost.  Thanks to our various distribution and social networking channels, our reports have been seen by hundreds of thousands of individuals over the last year and a half.

So while we are dismayed at the fact significant stories are being missed by the traditional media, we are proud of the reputation we’re building. Here at MacIverInstitute.com, our goal is to create a place to which people who share our concerns can turn for information and insight.

Because, many times, it’s the only place to find the important information you need.

By Brian Fraley
A MacIver Perspective