John K. Hartman
Author of The USA Today Way books

'Dispatch' ignores support for gambling
Thursday, October 1, 2009 3:33 AM

Among central Ohio residents, supporters of legalized casino gambling, such as at racetracks, outnumbered opponents by 48 percent to 46 percent, with 6 percent undecided, the Quinnipiac University poll reported on Sept. 15.

Also among central Ohio residents, supporters of putting casinos in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo led opponents 54 percent to 43 percent, with 3 percent undecided in the same poll.

The Dispatch did not report this data about central Ohio in its Sept. 16 article "Voters backing casino question."

With this latest information in mind from a reliable polling organization, I am perplexed by The Dispatch's continued one-sided negative coverage of the casino and racetrack gambling issues in Ohio. The biased, negative commentary by The Dispatch editor, political columnist and editorial writers is distressing, as well.

I am further perplexed by The Dispatch's crusade for higher taxes on Ohioans.

If The Dispatch feels so strongly about raising taxes, it should have its employees passing petitions to call for a statewide vote for higher taxes, and it should be demanding that every candidate for governor and the state legislature take a pledge to vote for higher taxes in return for an editorial-page endorsement. Instead, the editor, political columnist and editorial writers take regular cheap shots at the governor and the legislature.

By opposing racetrack and casino gambling and supporting higher state taxes, The Dispatch appears to be out of step with central Ohio.



John K. Hartman is a professor of journalism at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.  He is the author of two books, "The USA Today Way 2: The Future" (2000) and "The USA Today Way" (1992).  He has examined much of the research done on young adult newspaper readership and is a widely quoted source on the topic.  Jacqueline Hartman provided editing assistance to the author.

In August 2008 Dr. Hartman covered and blogged the Democratic National Convention for the Mount Pleasant, Mich., Morning Sun. In 2008 Dr. Hartman was named the Al-Jazirah Newspaper Chair for International Journalism at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and visited the kingdom to lecture, teach and give seminars. He is scheduled to return in 2009. To learn more about King Saud University, visit

Copyright 2009, John K. Hartman.  All Rights Reserved.