Urban Milwaukee
Case Study

Urban Milwaukee’s Impact On The Streetcar

Ald. Bauman talks about publication’s impact and how its expansion will help the community.

By - Nov 3rd, 2015 12:55 pm

Back in May, New York radio station WYNC did an interview with legal expert and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin and asked him about an Urban Milwaukee story (by our editor Bruce Murphy) that raised some doubts about Toobin’s story touting Milwaukee as a leader in solutions to mass incarceration of black offenders.

In August, the New York Times did a story about public financing of the Milwaukee Bucks new arena, and referenced an Urban Milwaukee story by writer Pat Small detailing the potential profit for the team’s owners, should they decide to move the franchise, say ten years after the new arena opens.

Two weeks ago a researcher for the venerable TV news show “60 Minutes” contacted Murphy about a column he did. She was looking for a Wisconsin-based story on the impact of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

A week ago, New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman contacted Data Wonk columnist Bruce Thompson, who has written frequently about the John Doe cases in Wisconsin. Wegman was researching and looking for background info and eventually wrote this editorial about the recent law Republicans passed to bar any John Doe investigations of political corruption.

Clearly the national media is beginning to pay attention to Urban Milwaukee. Here in the city the publication has also had an impact. Ald. Bob Bauman says Urban Milwaukee’s survey of readers on the proposed streetcar was a decisive factor in the passage of legislation creating it: “their little portal had as much to do with this thing getting passed as any argument on the merits we ever made. Because my colleagues actually saw there really are people who support this thing.”

Bauman was interviewed by Heather Perkins who created this video, explaining the need for Urban Milwaukee to expand through its current crowdfunding campaign. Our readers have responded: in 16 days, we’ve received about $13,000 in donations from 164 people, toward our final goal of $20,000. Expansion of Urban Milwaukee, Bauman says, would be “a huge improvement to the public discourse, and frankly fills in the gaps that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has basically abandoned.”

If you like Urban Milwaukee, you’ve been enjoying it for free and we’re glad to have your readership. We hope you’ll consider what its value on an annual basis is, and donate here. Our campaign web page also offers a detailed rundown of how we’ll be spending the money to make a better publication, that continues to have impact both on the local community and in the national media.

Join our campaign! Click here to give today.


3 thoughts on “Case Study: Urban Milwaukee’s Impact On The Streetcar”

  1. Jeff Jordan says:

    Urban Milwaukee has been a source of quality information on Milwaukee for me, I think almost since its inception. I have moved out of the Milwaukee area, but find a need to stay in touch with the issues, activities and events in the Milwaukee Metro. I fill that need by looking at UrbanMilwaukee.com everyday. I’ve contributed to this effort to expand and I hope all of my friends wiil also.

  2. mke says:

    Urban Milwaukee has made a major impression on me for their honest and frank reporting. It is what I call reality reporting. Free of bias, political jargon and fairy tale economics that are quiet the norm for the Journal Sentinel propaganda machine.

    Thank You Urban Milwaukee for being an organization of true morals and ethical journalism.

  3. M says:

    Another national journalist who has quoted Urban Milwaukee–more than once–is Neil deMause who writes the highly regarded Field of Schemes blog as well as for Vice Sports, the Village Voice and others.

    If UM did not exist, there would be a big hole in coverage of news in Milwaukee and sometimes the region and state.

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