Wichita news media

Book review: Knightfall

Knightfall: Knight Ridder and How the Erosion of Newspaper Journalism Is Putting Democracy At Risk Davis Merritt Amacom Books, 2005 The theme of this book, written by a former editor of The Wichita Eagle is that over the past few decades, the business of making newspapers has changed from a business unlike any other to a business just like all others, and we are not well served by this change. I think the most important quote from the book is this: With a handful of exceptions, American newspapers are being eroded, their traditional values subverted, their journalistic resources stripped away,…
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Another letter to the editor

Last time I wrote a letter to the Wichita Eagle for publication, I said that I learned my lesson, which was that I needed to be brief. I didn't learn this lesson well. This Sunday The Eagle printed a letter I submitted, and a large section in the middle was omitted. This omitted material was the entire basis of my argument. As before, here is what I submitted, and what The Eagle printed. What I submitted What was printed When supporting the subsidy to AirTran, Fair Fares supporters grossly -- I would say even speciously -- overstate the importance of…
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Wichita Eagle Says “AirTran Subsidies Foster Competition”

In an editorial in The Wichita Eagle published on April 19, 2005, Randy Scholfield writes: "Wichita should stick to its subsidies. They're fostering competition, not stifling it, and paying off big-time for the community by lowering airfares and boosting economic development." Competition, if it is to be meaningful, needs to be fair. It is not fair when one participant has a huge head start in the form of a government subsidy. The Eagle recognizes this when it suits their purpose. When endorsing Sam Brownback for reelection, this newspaper said "He includes in the former his stepped-up fight against the European…
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Why is the Wichita news media not interested?

This is a version of a letter that I have been sending to (mostly) Wichita-area newspapers, television stations, and radio stations. Some have expressed some interest and have even assigned reporters to look into this, but so far no stories have appeared. February 11, 2005 Sherry Chisenhall The Wichita Eagle Dear Ms. Chishenhall, I am writing to express my concern over the lack of reporting on some important issues regarding the downtown Wichita arena tax. My research has uncovered several findings, which I summarize here: 1. The WSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research study does not include depreciation…
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A Letter to the Editor is Edited

I wrote a letter to the editor of The Wichita Eagle for publication. It was published today, March 7, 2005. I have learned a lesson: my letter was much too long. I don't fault the Eagle for editing for space reasons. I do think, though, that my letter has a much different meaning in its edited form. You can be the judge. I have created a document that shows, side-by-side, my original letter and the published letter. The link is here: http://wichitaliberty.org/files/Letter_of_2005-03-07_Edited.pdf
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Wichita News Media Coverage of Downtown Arena Issue

On the November 2, 2004 ballot the voters of Sedgwick County approved an additional one percent sales tax to fund an arena in downtown Wichita. I opposed the taxpayers funding an arena for this reason: Proponents claimed that the arena would pay for itself (and be a good ting for Wichita) through various forms of economic benefit, both direct and spillover. But I found no research that supported this claim, except for one report prepared by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. I was able to find, however, much research that showed that these…
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Stretching figures strains credibility

I recently read that the Wichita Airport's economic impact was estimated at $1.6 billion per year. I thought this seemed high, so I investigated further. I became aware of this study prepared by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, available here: Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Economic Impact. By reading this study I learned that the employees of Cessna and Bombardier -- 12,134 in total -- are counted in determining the economic impact of the airport. Why? To quote the study: "While it might appear that manufacturing businesses could be based anywhere in the area, both…
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Columnist Confuses Government and Individual, Again

In the November 7, 2004 Wichita Eagle, columnist Mark McCormick again confuses the proper role of government and individual. He starts by talking about the spirit of the people in Wichita, how they will help you push your car, how they will hold open the door for you, etc. He refers to this as "neighborliness." He labels Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director of the Kansas Taxpayers Network, as not belonging to this group, because of his opposition to tax increases. Because Peterjohn opposed the arena and a school bond issue a few years ago, McCormick thinks he also opposed the wheel…
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Columnist Confuses Government and Individual

Writing in the November 3, 2004 Wichita Eagle, columnist Mark McCormick labels the vote in favor of a taxpayer-funded, government-owned arena a "rebirth of city's pioneering spirit." In this column, Mr. McCormick mentions our famous entrepreneurs and aerospace industry pioneers. Although he explicitly denies comparing the building of a downtown arena to the genius of Beech and Cessna, this article claims that the downtown arena will somehow lead to a rebirth of Wichita. What I think Mr. McCormick has overlooked is that the people who in the past made Wichita great were people working as individuals, not as governments. Now,…
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