Apr 8, 2008

New way to get Lansing news that mainstream media may miss

With shrinking newsrooms and newsroom consolidation, only the state’s two largest newspapers and the largest newspaper chain maintain a Lansing bureau, meaning there is less reporting on what is going in the capital. But for those wanting to keep a closer eye on what’s going on in Lansing, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy recently launched a new bi-monthly publication called “Capitol Confidential.”

The publication is free. It's available just by signing up at the center’s Web site, and it's also available online.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy “is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute devoted to improving the quality of life for all Michigan citizens by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions,” according to its mission statement. Many people call it a conservative think tank, but the center describes itself as “dedicated to providing a free-market perspective on public policy issues that are economic in nature.”

Capitol Confidential, one of eight periodicals published by the Mackinac Center, focuses on the votes and proposals in the state Legislature that traditional, mainstream media may not cover.

Capitol Confidential complements and is similar to the Michigan Votes Web site operated by the Mackinac Center. The Web site allows people to search for bills and resolutions by number, keyword or lawmaker, and it gives the voting record for each bill, as well as the voting record for the individual lawmaker. You can also go to the site to set it up to receive individually tailored e-mails of bills when they are introduced by subject or lawmaker.

Capitol Confidential contains some of the same raw data, but it also provides more analysis of bills, resolutions and proposals.


Graham Davis said...

It's a great publication in theory -- there's so much news happening in Lansing that goes unreported -- but Capitol Confidential does a terrible job of providing any semblance of balance. The last few issues just spew out the same tired attacks on unions, last year's budget agreement, and other GOP talking points. Since it's free, it's worth subscribing to just to see what the Mackinac Center is up to, but it's hardly "nonpartisan analysis".

I would recommend the Mackinac Center's MichiganVotes.org site - it does a good job of just laying out each bill under consideration, and allows for people to comment on each one...

Communications guru said...

Thanks for your comments, Graham. I have to admit I only read the first issue in paper, and I regular read MIRS and Gongwer for Lansing News. Any extra coverage on Lansing, however, can’t be bad. I like Michigan Vote’s email alerts.