By: Mark Glennon*
Our readership continues to grow nicely here at WirePoints, and you will be noticing the following changes:
Nancy Mathieson joining as Contributing Editor. Nancy has a 30-year career in business, securities regulation and public policy. She was formerly a Director of Market Surveillance at the New York Stock Exchange, where she managed a professional staff in investigating for securities trading violations. Most recently, Nancy was Operations Director at Truth in Accounting, a Chicago non-profit whose mission is to promote transparency in government financial reporting. Nancy was an officer of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) in Stamford, CT and has lectured at the University of Connecticut. She received her B.S. in Economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago and her M.B.A. at New York University.
Nancy has an uncommon understanding of both finance and government. A tireless worker, she’s passionate about efficient, transparent government and resurrecting Illinois’ economy. We’re delighted to have her aboard.
More Original Content. Our most popular articles have been original ones, so we’ll be writing more of those and recruiting more guest contributors. We’ll still continue to hand curate and link the best stories from every source we can find.
Media Watch. We’re adding a new section where, to put it bluntly, we’ll be taking shots at other media when they deserve that. Why? Because the Illinois media itself doesn’t, and they occasionally need it. The national media polices itself pretty well — it’s easy to find stories criticizing CNN, FOX, MSNBC and plenty of others that too often distort the news, whether out of bias or sloppiness.
But in Illinois there seems to be a cozy, unwritten understanding that regular media shouldn’t criticize each other. And stories about our state and local fiscal problems are typically written by political reporters. Even good political reporters just don’t have the background to get those things right and, too often, don’t even try.
If that ruffles some feathers, so be it. We’re not here to make any friends. We’ll call it like we see it. We’ll still be sending thousands of readers a month to the best stories, and we’re happy to be doing that because even the best authors are struggling with finding workable revenue models.
And one other thing. A story we linked to last June got an extremely high number of clicks. It was about a crowd of people that watched and did nothing while a man was beaten unconscious near the Belmont ‘L’ station in Chicago. We don’t usually do crime stories here, but we linked that one with a comment about how that cowardice was a metaphor for Chicago voters and the government they get.
That, evidently, struck a chord. I like to think that’s because you readers here aren’t the type who accept that kind of cowardice. We’re in the mess we are in part because too many Illinoisans, particularly in Chicago, including many in its business community, have long been afraid to speak up against The Machine. “Madigan will screw me when my property tax appraisal comes up,” or “my garbage won’t get picked up,” or “my car parked on the street will get ticketed constantly” — that kind of thing.
Yes, some of that may be true, but we hope we are reaching those of you who don’t care and will act up anyway.
*Mark Glennon is founder of WirePoints and a business consultant.