Wichita Eagle opinion watch

Wichita Eagle labels hold a clue

Wichita Eagle labels hold a clue

How Wichita Eagle news stories label outside organizations is a window into the ideology of the paper's newsroom. A Wichita Eagle op-ed references a report released by two think tanks, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Kansas Center for Economic Growth. (Kansas tax system among the most regressive, January 18, 2015.) Here's what readers can learn about the mindset of the Wichita Eagle. These organizations were named. Named and referenced without labels, adjectives, or qualifications that give readers clues about the ideology of the organizations. That wouldn't be remarkable except for noticing the contrast in how the Eagle labels…
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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.
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Election results, Kansas school employment and spending, and government planning of the economy

WichitaLiberty.TV: Election results, Kansas school employment and spending, and government planning of the economy

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: In Sedgwick County, an unlikely hero emerges after the November election. Then, what is the trend in Kansas school employment and spending, and what do voters think has happened? Finally, do you know how to make a simple lead pencil? View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 66, broadcast November 23, 2014.
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For Wichita Eagle, no immediate Kansas budget solution

For Wichita Eagle, no immediate Kansas budget solution

The Wichita Eagle shows how its adherence to ideology misinforms Kansans and limits their exposure to practical solutions for governance. In an op-ed posted the day before election day, the editorial board of the Wichita Eagle wrote of the problems it believes the next Kansas governor will face: The candidates vying to be Kansas governor have lofty-sounding goals and campaign promises. But here’s the grim reality: Whoever wins Tuesday will spend the next several years trying to fill a budget hole. And that hole keeps growing deeper. ("Budget hole awaits winner," November 3, 2014) The state has to make changes.…
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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…
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Kansas sales tax reform: Revenue booster?

Kansas sales tax reform: Revenue booster?

Kansas has a problem with sales tax exemptions, but the potential revenue boost from reform is not as great as commonly mentioned, unless Kansas wants to place its manufacturers at severe disadvantage. While the Wichita Eagle editorial board is correct to argue for eliminating sales tax exemptions, the amount of potential revenue is far less than presented, if we want to keep Kansas manufacturers competitive. Here's what the Eagle editorial held: As a result, the number of sales-tax exemptions keeps growing -- from 30 in 1985 to more than 100 today. And with each added exemption, the state is losing…
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Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Intrust Bank Arena: Not accounted for like a business

Proper attention given to the depreciation expense of Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita recognizes and accounts for the sacrifices of the people of Sedgwick County and its visitors to pay for the arena. It's a business-like way of accounting, but a well-hidden secret. The true state of the finances of the Intrust Bank Arena in downtown Wichita are not often a subject of public discussion. Arena boosters promote a revenue-sharing arrangement between the county and the arena operator, referring to this as profit or loss. But this arrangement is not an accurate and complete accounting, and hides the true…
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Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

Shame, says Wichita Eagle editorial board

The Wichita Eagle editorial board, under the byline of Rhonda Holman, issued a stern rebuke to the Kansas Legislature for its passage of HB 2506 over the weekend. (Eagle editorial: Shame on Legislature, April 8, 2014) Here are some notes on a few of Holman's points. She wrote that the legislature should not "undermine teachers’ rights and meddle in education policymaking." First: There's controversy over what the bill actually means to the relationship between teachers and their employers. Courts will probably have to intervene. Second: Should the Legislature have a say in policy, or just pay? Then, she criticized the…
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