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Press Association says Proft’s newspapers aren’t eligible for membership

Monday, Aug 8, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Illinois Press Association has issued an official statement on Dan Proft’s string of pro-Republican newspapers

Official statement of the Illinois Press Association Board of Directors

The Illinois Press Association has been approached about the regional ‘newspapers’ which have been introduced to Illinois voters this election cycle.

Obviously, the IPA respects the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of the press which allows each of us the right to speak freely, and publish newspapers or newsletters if we wish. While imitation is the highest form of flattery, the IPA cautions readers to become as news literate as possible; that is, to try to determine the source behind the news and information they receive and to question the legitimacy, integrity and intent of both the source and the message.

Technology has significantly lowered the barrier for entry into publishing—for both print and digital, making it extremely difficult to distinguish between legitimate news and political propaganda. News and information shape the decisions we make every day and the importance of news literacy is becoming more and more important each day.

People are continually inundated with messages from this growing number of platforms and it is often unclear as to the source or the integrity of the message or the platform. The newspapers published under the banners of Chambana Sun, DuPage Policy Journal, East Central Reporter, Kankakee Times, Lake County Gazette, McHenry Times, Metro East Sun, North Cook News, Rock Island Today, Sangamon Sun, SW Illinois News, West Central Reporter, West Cook News, are not members of the Illinois Press Association, nor are they eligible for membership in the Association.

The IPA is grateful that so many continue to view local newspapers as the best method to communicate with Illinois communities and Illinois voters.

* Here’s a recent example from SW Illinois News

Dave Severin, Republican candidate for House District 117, recently called out his opponent John Bradley (D-Dist. 117) after second quarter fundraising reports were released by the State Board of Elections.

“Second quarter fundraising reports are in,” Severin said. “Now we know where John Bradley’s money and support comes from. Will you help us beat John Bradley, Springfield insiders and the Chicago political machine?”

Severin pointed out that while his own funds are raised in southern Illinois, his opponent’s financial support originates primarily in Chicago, with a significant amount raised in Springfield. Severin raised $9,335, while Bradley raised $55,000 in Chicago, $12,400 in Springfield and approximately $2,000 in Southern Illinois.

The source of Bradley’s campaign funds adds fuel to Severin’s claims that the Democratic incumbent is part of the Chicago political machine. Bradley also supported House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Dist. 22) during the budget impasse.

No mention, of course, that Severin is already benefiting from hundreds of thousands of dollars in TV ads and mailers that were almost completely financed by Gov. Rauner.

Hat tip: Politico.


  1. - Honeybear - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    Unfortunately I think the damage is already done. Biases are already set. Trolls feed on this stuff then spew it back out any place they can. I’ve already seen some of this stuff quoted on facebook.

  2. - Honeybear - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    I am glad to see that the perfidy is being challenged though.

  3. - G'Kar - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    Isn’t there also one for Lasalle County aimed at Andy Skoog?

  4. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    The Illinois Press Association statement is good, but it will not prevent the use of this tool.

    I hate to say this is unique, but it’s not. It’s been used for years. Proft has just upped the quality and pervasiveness of the tactic.

    The defense of this tactic is for parents to continue to educate their children to question the legitimacy of information sources. Tell them to always verify information through other sources. This is especially important in today’s social media driven misinformation system.

  5. - Norseman - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:55 am:

    Oops, I meant “I’d like to say it’s unique”

  6. - Dee Lay - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Madigan and the Press Associations He Controls.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    “To the Illinois Press Association,

    Noted. Thanks. Don’t care.


    Fake Dan Proft”

  8. - former southerner - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 11:59 am:

    Well voters targeted by these rags, at least you know what Proft and company thinks of your intelligence level. There is a potential revenue stream here because a database of people who fall for these fakes make a great target for other scam products… Buy this wonderful new secrets from the Orient automatic hamburger flipper and if you order now we will include a second one free-just pay a small additional shipping and handling fee.

  9. - The Captain - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    These “fake newspapers” are not noticeably different from the Tribune’s editorial page, so meh.

  10. - A guy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:19 pm:

    This is interesting and even a little funny on so many different levels.

  11. - Huh? - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    “Isn’t there also one for Lasalle County aimed at Andy Skoog?”

    Got one on Friday. Tried to send it back, but USPS circled the “or current resident” and put it back in the mailbox. Didn’t bother with the bird cage, it went straight to the recycling bin.

    What gets me is there is no attempt to hide the clear bias. It is so overt and in your face.

  12. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:31 pm:

    I just received the DuPage Policy Journal with a snarky editorial directed toward people who question their newspaper credentials.

  13. - walker - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 12:48 pm:

    A lot of our newspapers started as political broadsheets. A Great American tradition.

    The press association can do what they want with their membership. It’s “reader beware,” especially in our electronic world.

  14. - Annonin' - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:13 pm:

    Good point is press association labeling ends any notion that the papers contain credibility….funky funding and ties to BigBrain and Trump will make these COPies queasy too.

  15. - Sir Reel - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 1:14 pm:

    As long as some voters are gullible, this type of shenanigans will continue.

  16. - ArchPundit - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    ==A lot of our newspapers started as political broadsheets. A Great American tradition.

    Exactly. This is all covered by the First Amendment and is pretty much what was thought of as the press when the First Amendment was written.

    ===As long as some voters are gullible, this type of shenanigans will continue.

    Meh. As long as someone is gullible enough to pay for these shenanigans they will continue. Proft has many marks.

  17. - Mama - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:13 pm:

    “The defense of this tactic is for parents to continue to educate their children to question the legitimacy of information sources. Tell them to always verify information through other sources. This is especially important in today’s social media driven misinformation system.”

    Always verify information is spot on in today’s world, & the Illinois Press Association should stay on top of the lies and inform the public.

  18. - pool boy - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:28 pm:

    Most newspapers had or have an editorial page which presents opinions. Although you knew the source, many times you didn’t know their intentions. A little hypocritical of the IPA.

  19. - Anon221 - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Mama- Check out

    Some good education materials there.

  20. - Linus - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 2:39 pm:

    ==Most newspapers had or have an editorial page which presents opinions. Although you knew the source, many times you didn’t know their intentions. A little hypocritical of the IPA.==

    There is a fundamental difference here: These “newspapers” aren’t loading their opinions into the clearly labeled “op ed” page, but the pages presented as being straight-up “news.” In the Severin case cited here, it’s labeled as “local government” news.

  21. - Michael Westen - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    On a brighter note, Proft’s newspapers have been honored by the Illinois Bird Cage Association for “Best New Lining Product” of the year.

  22. - Doug Simpson - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    I get a big laugh when *Conservatives* (not Republicans) call the Chicago Tribune *liberal*.

    The Chicago Tribune has endorsed EVERY Republican candidate for President since it began, with 1 exception. And had that candidate picked a qualified Vice Presidential candidate…they’d a endorsed him too.

  23. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 3:57 pm:

    The “right wing” Chicago Tribune editiorial page endorsed President Obama in 2008 and in 2012. In 2012 they urged him to address the nation’s debt crisis. Good advice that was promptly ignored and we stand 19 trillion in debt

  24. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    Hi Lucky. Any chance you want to address the actual topic?

    To the post:

    There’s a reason the IPA doesn’t recognize them. They aren’t newspapers. Just because you call yourself a newspaper doesn’t make it so. They’re propaganda. No problem with it. But don’t try to tell me it’s news.

  25. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 5:26 pm:

    I was addressing a previous comment about the Tribune Demoralized.

    As long as the IPA is telling us which publications qualify as new and not propaganda I wonder if they care to weigh in on the New York Times blaming the Orlando shooting on Republicans and not mention the Islamic state in a 631 word editorial even though the shooter called police before he was killed to express his allegiance to ISIS

  26. - South Illinoisian - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 5:34 pm:

    These “newspapers” work. Got many folks I know all fired up and blaming Madigan for all of Illinois ills.

  27. - blue dog dem - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 8:48 pm:

    These so called newspapers…..Charmin they are not!

  28. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Aug 8, 16 @ 9:29 pm:

    Lucky Pierre, you said the key word, “editorial.” You cannot say that obvious editorials are the same as slanted articles that are being passed off as legitimate news.

    As for the post, a law requiring all newspapers to list prominently on the first page who the owner is would be a good transparency step without any first amendment implications.

  29. - Tinsel Town - Tuesday, Aug 9, 16 @ 6:25 am:

    Now Proft’s Radio Show has to be declared an info mercial… bought and paid for by Bruce Rauner.

    Proft appears to be consistently violates FCC standards regarding disclosure.

    He’s taken radio talk to another low…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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