timing

Maybe as long as two years ago, a state legislator  called me to say that they were trying to get a commission created to deal with racial disparities, and would I agree to be on it if asked.  Last January, the Governor announced that such a commission would be created, and it made front page news; I got a lot of reporter calls about it, many asking me if I’d be on the commission.  I said I did not know if I’d be asked, but I’d serve if asked.  The commission got created in late March and had its first meeting in April.  The fact that the commission had actually been appointed was not news and was buried in a short paragraph in back pages.  We were supposed to report in October, but this was impossible.  Given the expertise on the commission, we could have begun writing our report at the first meeting and done a good job, but it was deemed important to get testimony from stakeholders and the public, and there were some things we learned we did not already know.  Because of that, and other often-frustrating organizational issues I will not go into, we had to defer the deadline and were not able to really write the report until January.  It is released today in the middle of one of the most exciting political weeks of the decade.  I am assuming it will get essentially zero play, as “news hole effects” (which I’ve researched) mean that any bit of news is inevitably in conflict with other news.   All I can hope is that our recommendations might get implemented despite the total lack of public discussion that can be expected from the timing of all this.

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Author: olderwoman

I'm a sociology professor but not only a sociology professor. I keep my name out of this blog because I don't want my name associated with it in a Google search. Although I never write anything in a public forum like a blog that I'd be ashamed to have associated with my name (and you shouldn't either), it is illegal for me to use my position as a public employee to advance my religious or political views, and the pseudonym helps to preserve the distinction between my public and private identities. The pseudonym also helps to protect the people I may write about in describing public or semi-public events I've been involved with. You can read about my academic work on my academic blog http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/soc/racepoliticsjustice/ --Pam Oliver

7 thoughts on “timing”

  1. Do you have any sense of whether or not it was released today in part because some folks were counting on “new hole effects”? Or was it simply a coincidence? Put better, was the timing unfortunate, was the timing purposeful, or was it a bit of both? I understand if you can’t really answer that!

  2. Today because today was the first day it could possibly be ready. We were still doing edits over the weekend. Everyone involved would have preferred to be done sooner. The frustrating organizational issues were truly organizational, not an indication of lack of support for the issue, and there was no disagreement on the commission about the importance of the issue and very little disagreement about the recommendations for how to deal with it.

  3. Why didn’t you guys just wait until a little bit after Super Tuesday to release it, once it was clear it couldn’t be done earlier?

  4. good question,, and maybe they will. Perhaps I should suggest that. I think I will. . . . UPDATE: Thanks for the suggestion. I think the decision is to postpone release to Thursday.

  5. Thanks for the links! Coverage in Madison was inside the local section, we did not even beat out the DNR. (possible duplicate comment)

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