What we’re about

Joanie Liesenfelt

I like to keep up on how local governments behave regarding ethical standards, human rights, protection of children, treatment of citizens, and adherence (or not) to the statutes of the State of Illinois. On an irregular schedule, I publish the KankakeeGazette.com.

My journey to here began in early November 2010: I resolved to seek out a newspaper to cover Kankakee in their online edition. In a small town with one city paper struggling like other newspapers around the country, much information was missing about local issues significant to the lives of Kankakee residents.

Several days later, a good friend gave me a Chicago Tribune article. The story by Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood was about Elaine Coorens and the one-year anniversary of her web newspaper Our Urban Times.

“I did this because we lost our last local paper,” she (Coorens) said. Is this the future of journalism? Maybe it is. But I strongly believe you cannot have a community without communication.”

That article is taped on my livingroom wall reminding me every day of what Elaine Coorens is doing and why.

Much has been written about how newspapers are dying, journalism is being replaced by infomercial news, and ethical standards of the press are going the way of Gutenberg’s press. Maybe so. Maybe one day the scent of newsprint will be nothing but a bittersweet memory. I hope not.

People are speaking up all over the country. Blogs, community websites, open source, social media, iPhones, instant images, instant answers, Tweeting, Tumblring and more are filling the void created by a floundering newspaper industry.

Want to be part of this surge spreading around the globe?

BE a newspaper: ethical, legal, stick to the facts, and, oh yes, speak up while we still have a U.S. Constitution that supports that right. You might enjoy it.

Joanie Liesenfelt
Publisher/Managing Editor


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Small Town
When you do not stand up
when government and power
retaliate to shut you up,
when you cower under cover,
never speaking up,
you become the attacker,
you give government power
to attack another and another.
You are attacked because
the person before you cowered.
The next is attacked because of you.
So on your feet!
Do not whisper,
do not hide pretending
you do not see,
speak out, loud, here, now,
like you live in America,
before it’s gone.
Joanie Liesenfelt
October 3, 2013
Who will try?
Citizen Media Law Project: Legal Resources for Citizen Journalists
Thank Nelson Mandela
for his incredible work
for peace and justice
Nelson Mandala image from Care2 make a difference
Nelson Mandela is a world leader and example of peace and justice.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner fought apartheid and campaigned against the racist policies of the South African government despite strong opposition. No matter how many times he was discouraged from his mission or jailed for political offenses, Mandela never gave up his fight for justice.
Mandela wasn't afraid to speak his mind and stand up for what he believed. In his efforts, he has changed the world for the better. And his passionate conviction has inspired many others to do the same.
For today's Daily Action, pledge to do what you can in your own life to promote tolerance and justice. Visit Care2 make a difference
“Nobody home!
Steal My Plumbing!
Trash Me!”
Posted by kankakeegazette.com 6-2-2013
Most street-wise people know not to be a victim of crime. Never flash a large roll of cash or open a very full wallet in plain site. Avoid bragging about your Mercedes out in the lot. Avoid certain neighborhoods at all times. Avoid others at peak crime hours. Don’t pick fights in bars. Carry a real police whistle. Carry pepper spray.
These hints aren’t anything new. Criminals needn’t be the brightest bulbs in the lamp to victimize people successfully. Following the hints buys you an edge.
Protecting yourself is frequently straight-forward. Protecting property may be a tad more complex. But, again, basic cautions are simple, particularly when protecting, say, your house.
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