Downsizing the News Media; Downsizing Quality and Credibility

      by Walter Brasch   (Part 2 of 2) For more than a decade, advertising, circulation, and news quality in both print and electronic media have been in a downward spiral. That spiral has twin intertwining roots. The first root is the rise of social media. The complacent … Continue reading

The Boss Who Fought for the Working Class

  by Walter Brasch   He was born into poverty in New Hampshire in 1811. His father was a struggling farmer. His mother did most of the other chores. He was a brilliant student, but the family often moved, looking for a better life—a couple of times so the father … Continue reading

Labor Day Assignment: Educating the Uninformed

    by Walter Brasch   It’s Labor Day weekend, the schools have been in session about a week, and the disgruntled voices of a minority drone on. Their screeching refrain, often in letters to the editor and talk show call-ins, is familiar: –Teachers only work half a year. –Teachers … Continue reading

University Governance Doesn’t Represent the People

  by Walter Brasch   About 800,000 Pennsylvanians are members of labor unions, and the state has a long history of union rights and activism, neither of the two largest university systems has a labor representative on its governing board. The only labor representative on the Board of Governors of … Continue reading

Don’t Count Out the Labor Movement

  by Walter Brasch   Almost every conservative political columnist, pundit, commentator, blogger, and bloviator has written about the decline and forthcoming death of the labor movement. They happily point to Wisconsin, where Republican Gov. Scott Walker shortly after taking office in January 2011 took advantage of a Republican majority … Continue reading

Fewer Words; Less Filling

The Reduced Shakespeare Co. cleverly and humorously abridges all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays to 97 minutes. Short of having a set of Cliff’s Notes or a collection of Classic Comics, sources of innumerable student essays for more than a half-century, it may be the least painful way to “learn” Shakespeare. … Continue reading

Labor Pains: A Fable for Our Times

Once, many years ago, in a land far away between two oceans, with fruited plains, amber waves of grain, and potholes on its highways, there lived a young man named Sam. Now, Sam was a bright young man who wanted to work and save money so he could go to … Continue reading

Stories We Will Still Have to Write in 2012

  by WALTER and ROSEMARY BRASCH   In January 2009, with a new president about to be inaugurated, we wrote a column about the stories we preferred not having to write, but knew we would. Three years later, we are still writing about those problems; three years from now, we’ll … Continue reading

Labor Not Represented in Management of the ‘People’s Universities’

  by Walter Brasch    Although more than one million Pennsylvanians are members of labor unions, and the state has a long history of worker exploitation and union activism, neither of the two largest university systems has a labor representative on its governing board. The only labor representative on the … Continue reading