People don’t need to buy a paper to get information. Nowadays, many individuals rely on their computer, TV, radio, friends and neighbors for information about what is happening in their communities.
Such alternatives may be perceived as just as or even more convenient, reliable and trustworthy than newspapers. What newspapers omit, as well as what they choose to impart and how, can make them seem less than a balanced, objective news source.
In articles before the April 1 election, Muskego-New Berlin NOW reported on Ald. Bill Moore’s political experience--specifically that he had served two terms on the New Berlin School Board, but his opponent JJ Blonien’s ties to controversial former state Senator Tom Reynolds wasn't mentioned. According to information on the internet, Blonien had been Reynold’s staffer and involved in his election campaign. A later (May 1) NOW article stated that Blonien handled Reynold’s election campaign.
Muskego-New Berlin NOW did 3 newspaper stories (April 10, May 1, June 5) about the complaint JJ Blonien filed against WeCare- New Berlin after he lost the April 1 aldermanic election. The Waukesha County DA investigated Blonien’s allegations about WeCare’s pre-election flier and dismissed the complaint. Although the May 1 NOW article referred to Blonien as the former publisher of the Enterprise, a weekly publication covering several Milwaukee area suburbs, that statement was not in the other two news articles. In the third article, Blonien said he’d been involved with the Enterprise in the “80’s and 90’s”, had owned stock in the Enterprise, was “one of eleven stockholders”. His name was on corporation documents. None of the three articles mentioned that Community Newspapers (which publishes the Muskego-New Berlin NOW) bought the Enterprise in 1995.
While Muskego-New Berlin NOW newspaper furnished a soapbox to a losing candidate’s criticisms of a flier supporting his opponent, we’ve seen zero press coverage from the paper about the campaign fliers which attacked incumbent Bill Moore (Blonien’s opponent). Whoever was behind those slimy fliers was too cowardly to put their name on them, identify themselves and take responsibility. The “anonymous” smear fliers carried disclaimers indicating less than $25 had been spent. Considering what it costs to print and distribute a bunch of campaign fliers (for printing costs, paper, ink cartridges, fuel, etc.), spending under $25 does not seem credible. The culprits who produced that flier and dispersed it in Moore’s aldermanic district obviously sought to affect the election, yet circumvent campaign reporting laws and elude accountability. One would think a newspaper would be concerned about that and the lack of transparency.
Evidently, Muskego-New Berlin NOW felt what was said in WeCare-New Berlin’s fliers-and whether it was accurate--was newsworthy. And yet NOW has not done a single newspaper article about New Berlin School Board leaders Keith Heun’s and Matt Thomas’ use of NOW resources to maliciously attack their constituents, spread lies about them, Board policy and a lawsuit. The NOW staff has even refrained from doing an article about Keith Heun’s email “retraction” (posted on Thomas’ blog), which included Heun’s admission that he’d made “inaccurate" statements about certain constituents, Board Policy, the ACLU, and a lawsuit filed against the School District. So, when elected government officials Thomas and Heun mislead, deceive, misinform the public and vilify their constituents, the NOW newspaper looks the other way?