Reeling Michigan news outlets face layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts

BY: - April 16, 2020

As journalists across Michigan and the country have been tirelessly covering the COVID-19 pandemic, they are now facing new hazards: job losses, furloughs and pay cuts. Several big media outlets in Michigan, including the Detroit Free Press, MLive and the Detroit News, have announced cutbacks. This comes at a time when many reporters are taking […]


Susan J. Demas: From ‘fix the damn roads’ to give us the damn masks: Whitmer’s governorship takes an unexpected national turn

BY: - March 31, 2020

As COVID-19 rips through Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spends her days tracking down ventilators and N95 masks for jammed, desperate hospitals, working to secure as much federal help as possible, and trying to reassure anxious and terrified residents. This wasn’t the year that Whitmer — or any of us, of course — envisioned at the […]


Susan J. Demas: What Trump vs. Whitmer food fight stories get wrong

BY: - March 27, 2020

Partisan food fight stories are amazingly easy to write. “X slams Y!” in the headline, followed by a pithy lede (preferably with a cliché sports or pop culture reference). Then comes the snarky quote by X, the angry response from Y, a little background info and maybe a too-cute-by-half pundit comment. And voilà! You’re done. […]

Michigan Press Association wary of Whitmer electronic meeting order during COVID-19

BY: - March 19, 2020

A new state directive on how public bodies should conduct meetings during a pandemic quickly garnered praise from the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and Democratic lawmakers, while the Michigan Press Association (MPA) and GOP state leadership expressed concerns about public transparency. As part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on […]


Susan J. Demas: Years of media mistakes have made the coronavirus pandemic worse. We can do better.

BY: - March 17, 2020

Looking around at all the college kids jamming bars for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the seniors defiantly shaking hands like it’s a badge of honor, and too many conservative leaders refusing to close schools and businesses to help their citizens, I have an overwhelming sense of dread. There are all sorts of reasons for this […]


Column: Life in COVID-19 quarantine: One reporter’s account

BY: - March 16, 2020

Editor’s Note: This column is by Lisa Sorg, a reporter for the Michigan Advance’s sister outlet, N.C. Policy Watch. My elbows were filthy. The outsides had been used to turn on light switches and turn off faucets, to latch bathroom stalls and open hotel doors. The insides had blunted sneezes and muffled coughs. I had […]

Michigan Advance wins second in 2019 Newspaper of the Year*

BY: - March 11, 2020

Updated, 6:15 p.m., 3/12/20 The Michigan Advance came in second in the 2019 Newspaper of the Year in its circulation category by the Michigan Press Association (MPA). The nonprofit politics and policy outlet began publishing four months into the yearlong contest. The first place finisher is the Advance out of Blissfield, which the MPA’s Lisa […]

El-Sayed joining CNN as commentator

BY: - February 26, 2020

Former gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed is now a political commentator for CNN, joining former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who serves as a senior political contributor to the network. El-Sayed, who lost the 2018 Democratic primary to now-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has endorsed presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). He is a physician and a former Detroit […]


Susan J. Demas: Nobody likes a smarty pants: Why Warren and Obama irk pundits so much

BY: - February 16, 2020

Elizabeth Warren has never succeeded in charming the pundit class, which tends to describe her in oh-so-flattering terms like professorial, scold, elitist, lecturing, strident and schoolmarmish (she was a Harvard professor before being elected as a senator, in case you couldn’t tell by these pejoratives). After covering this primary for the last approximately 12,000 years […]


Susan J. Demas: Confessions of a failed pundit on Iowa caucus day

BY: - February 3, 2020

For the last dozen years or so, I’ve made the same joke about being a pundit: “I’m paid to be wrong.” I’ve used it on Michigan Public Television’s “Off the Record” several times and in countless interviews with national and international media when I’m asked to comment on Michigan elections — especially to predict results. […]

From Milliken to fashion mania: Top lines of Whitmer’s 2nd State of the State

BY: - January 30, 2020

After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address last year, FOX-2 decided to play fashion critic — and national media, including journalists at the Washington Post and CNN — weren’t having it. The metro Detroit TV station ran a story with anonymous commenters critiquing Whitmer’s blue dress and body, something the governor appeared […]


Susan J. Demas: In the Trump era, the GOP silence on Sen. Lucido’s degrading sexism has been deafening

BY: - January 20, 2020

It’s a safe bet that if a Republican lawmaker told a female reporter that a group of schoolboys could “have a lot of fun with you” before 2016, a significant number of his GOP colleagues would have felt pressure to denounce him and call for his resignation. But there’s been only a few statements from […]