Kansas news media

Coverage of Downtown Wichita workers

Coverage of Downtown Wichita workers

The Wichita Eagle's coverage of the number of workers in Downtown Wichita isn't fake news, just wrong news. A recent Wichita Eagle article reported on the number of workers in downtown Wichita, designated as zip code 67202: "The 67202 ZIP code had lost nearly 15 percent of its businesses and 20 percent of its employees in the decade ending in 2015, according to the U.S. Census’s County Business Pattern data. The loss of the State Office Building in 2016 and the Wichita school district’s downtown office this summer -- employees are moving to the former Southeast High School -- will…
Read More
Fake government spawns fake news

Fake government spawns fake news

Discussions of public policy need to start from a common base of facts and information. An episode shows that both our state government and news media are not helping. A recent Hutchinson News article[3. Clarkin, Mary. Department of Education’s Dennis: Shocking number when looking at funding gap. Hutchinson News. April 17, 2017. http://www.hutchnews.com/news/local_state_news/department-of-education-s-dennis-shocking-number-when-looking-at/article_4abe359e-8421-53f9-a8d7-1eaa56e95423.html.] started with this: Once you wake up to where Kansas was in 1992 at funding schools and what it needs to do to get caught up, said the Kansas Department of Education’s Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis, it’s a shocker. In 1992, base state aid per pupil was…
Read More
Topeka Capital-Journal falls for a story

Topeka Capital-Journal falls for a story

The editorial boards of two large Kansas newspapers have shown how little effort goes into forming the opinions they foist upon our state. Here's a quote from a recent opinion piece in the Topeka Capital-Journal, the second-largest newspaper in Kansas: "If the past year is any indication, Totten is right about the harmful effects of KDOT sweeps on the construction industry in our state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between July 2015 and July 2016, Kansas lost 4,400 construction jobs -- a 7.3 percent decline. This means Kansas ranked 49th in the country for construction job growth." [1.…
Read More
GetTheFactsKansas launched

GetTheFactsKansas launched

From Kansas Policy Institute and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, a new website with facts about the Kansas budget, economy, and schools. GetTheFactsKansas.com aims to provide Kansans with factual information about our state. Sometimes this is in short supply, so this effort is welcome. As an example, when explaining school spending, the site notes: "At $13,124 per-pupil, 2015 marked the third consecutive year of record-setting funding according to the Kansas Department of Education (KSDE). And if the Department’s estimates hold, another new record will be set when the 2016 final results are reported. Record funding is not the result of…
Read More

Brownback derangement syndrome on display

A newspaper op-ed illustrates some of the muddled thinking of Kansas newspaper editorialists, not to mention Brownback derangement syndrome. Recent discussion about restricting the ability to spend welfare benefits has lead one newspaper editorialist to compare elected politicians with welfare recipients. The writer is Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star, and his target is Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Attempting to paint the governor as a government-paid freeloader, Helling wrote: "He’s earned his living from taxpayers almost all his life. He’s worked in state government, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and now as governor, where he earns around $100,000…
Read More
WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

WichitaLiberty.TV: The Wichita Eagle fails the city and its readers

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: In its coverage of the recent election, the Wichita Eagle has failed to inform its readers of city and state issues. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. For more on this topic, see In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short and For Wichita Eagle, no immediate Kansas budget solution.
Read More
Newspaper editorialists with an ideology? Not in Kansas, surely.

Newspaper editorialists with an ideology? Not in Kansas, surely.

Caution, Kansas newspaper editorialists. Your ideology is showing. Seeking to minimize the fallout from this week's elections in Kansas, Kansas City Star editorialist Yael T. Abouhalkah warns the governor that this election didn't really mean much, after all. (See No, Sam Brownback, Kansans didn’t give you a mandate for more tax cuts.) This op-ed, like many others that appear in Kansas newspapers, are useful for exposing the ideologies of their writers. Here's an example from Abouhalkah: "Already, the first round of tax cuts have cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in anticipated revenues." The corollary of this is…
Read More
In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short

In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short

Citizens want to trust their hometown newspaper as a reliable source of information. The Wichita Eagle has not only fallen short of this goal, it seems to have abandoned it. The Wichita Eagle last week published a fact-check article titled "Fact check: 'No' campaign ad on sales tax misleading." As of today, the day before the election, I've not seen any similar article examining ads from the "Yes Wichita" group that campaigns for the sales tax. Also, there has been little or no material that examined the city's claims and informational material in a critical manner. Someone told me that…
Read More
Recommended: Kansas Meadowlark

Recommended: Kansas Meadowlark

It's been around for a long time, and is the best site for aggregation of Kansas-centric news and opinion. It's Kansas Meadowlark, run by Earl Glynn of Overland Park. I recommend you take a look.
Read More
Kansas City Star’s dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate

Kansas City Star’s dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate

Commentary from Kansas Policy Institute. Kansas City Star's dishonest portrayal of renewable energy mandate By Dave Trabert A recent Kansas City Star editorial criticizing opponents of Kansas’ renewal energy mandate for being disingenuous was itself a fine example of disingenuity. Kansas law mandates that utility companies purchase specific levels of renewable energy, which means that Kansans are forced to purchase wind energy and pay higher energy prices. The degree to which it is more expensive is a matter of dispute, but even the Star admits that wind is more expensive than fossil fuel alternatives. The Star describes this mandate as…
Read More
Kansas news media should report, not spin

Kansas news media should report, not spin

A Hutchinson News editorial contained an uninformed opinion of which special interest groups are working for the best interests of Kansans. Following, Dave Trabert of Kansas Policy Institute explains that influence may be shifting from media, unions, the education establishment, cities, counties, and school boards to those with different views -- those of limited government and economic freedom that empower citizens, not an expansive government and its beneficiaries. The editorial referred to is Goodbye Democracy, Hello Wealthocracy. Media spin a threat By Dave Trabert Kansans are bombarded with claims that range from innocently incomplete to quite deliberately false. Increasingly, the…
Read More

Top Kansas stories of 2013: Joseph Ashby edition

By Joseph Ashby. Special to Voice for Liberty. From FBI bomb plots to seven-story toddler trick shots to an unlikely final four run, Kansas kept our attention in 2013. Here is a countdown of the state's top stories this year. #10 - Trick Shot Titus The basketball-shooting toddler from Derby, Kansas had the 4th most watched YouTube sports video of 2013 (for good measure “Trick Shot Titus 3,” which missed the December 1 cutoff, is now the 5th most watched sports video of the year), and represented Kansas on the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and a host of other…
Read More

Kansas news reporting questioned

From Kansas Policy Institute. Media should be a neutral reporter of facts By Dave Trabert “An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic.” -- Thomas Jefferson I wonder what Mr. Jefferson would say about the state of today’s media. Television, cable, print and internet media routinely ignore basic journalistic principles and openly choose sides, often ignoring the facts and perpetuating falsehoods to convince citizens that their view is the right one. In some cases, it’s done in support of conservative causes; most often, it’s in support of "progressive" ideals that strip citizens of their personal freedom. It’s…
Read More

Kansas sales tax exemptions, according to Kansas City Star

Here's a look at just how bad some Kansas newspaper articles and editorials have been. From December 2010. A recent editorial in one of Kansas' leading newspapers may lead readers to believe that eliminating sales tax exemptions holds the key to solving the state's budget problems. But following the advice of the editorial would place Kansas at a severe disadvantage to other states in manufacturing. The Kansas City Star editorial, titled "Education should trump tax breaks in Kansas" (available to read here), holds this paragraph: "For every penny of sales tax collected in Kansas, the state exempts 2 cents. Brownback…
Read More

Fact-checking an editor’s biased agenda

Fact-checking an editor’s biased agenda By Steven Greenhut | Special to Watchdog.org TEACHER SAID: There “is absolutely, positively no such thing as an unbiased piece of writing.” During a junior high-school English class decades ago, I eagerly raised my hand to answer a teacher’s question about news reporting. He wanted us to explain the kind of sources we would use and how we would assure that our writing was fair. I would rely on “unbiased” books and articles, I explained. The teacher threw his hands in the air and started yelling (in a friendly manner) that there “is absolutely, positively no…
Read More

Wichita Eagle editorial page: arm of Democratic Party?

Today's letters section of the Wichita Eagle carries a letter from the executive director of the Sedgwick County Democratic Party promoting an event that will poke fun at Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. A letter to the editor of any newspaper that discusses public policy, including Kobach's agenda, is relevant. But this letter is a promotion -- an advertisement -- for a partisan political party event. It's not billed as a fundraiser, but it has all the characteristics of one, including tickets selling for as much as $100. Printing letters like this harms the image of Eagle, if it…
Read More

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for March 22, 2010. Republicans on the left help defeat Health Care Freedom Amendment (Kansas Liberty) "Greg Ward, co-founder of the Kansas 9.12 Project and founder of the Kansas Sovereignty Coalition, was disappointed in the outcome, but said he was especially concerned about the actions of the Republican members who voted against the measure. 'I am amazed at the number of Republicans working to limit the liberties we have instead of limiting the overreaching government on both the federal and state level that seeks more and more control of our lives,' Ward told Kansas…
Read More

KPTS’s Kansas Week now online

Wichita public television station KPTS has produced the weekly public affairs program Kansas Week since 1989. Tim Brown has been the host since 2006. Now many of KPTS's shows are available online through the station's website. There's a link on the main page, or click on watch.kpts.org. Both Kansas Week and the Sunday afternoon show Ask Your Legislator are available.
Read More

The changing face of journalism

As newspapers and other forms of traditional news media experience economic difficulty, a gap has been created that needs to be filled. One of the solutions is the rise of non-profit organizations that have stepped in to provide the watchdog service that investigative journalism provides. Jason Stverak, author of the piece below, is president of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, which funds investigative journalism in a growing number of states, including Kansas at Kansas Watchdog. This piece also appeared in National Review Online. Corruption and scandal are not simply bred in D.C. -- crooked politicians have to…
Read More

Kansas news digest

News from alternative media around Kansas for December 21, 2009. KNEA uses incomplete funding data to argue for tax hikes (Kansas Liberty) "Kansas State Department of Education Deputy Commissioner says a common practice of legislators and school advocates is only citing the base state aid K-12 receives for gauging funding levels." Democrat drops out of governor's race (Kansas Liberty) "Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wiggans announced yesterday that he was dropping out of the race amid allegations that he had acted in an ethically questionable manner at a previous job." Economist calls for scrapping state income tax (Kansas Reporter) "Kansas’ economy…
Read More