Segregation series published by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee series began with six stories published January 11 through January 14, 2003:


Study explodes myth of area's 'hypersegregation'
Segregation data based on racist premise, critics say
Salt Lake belies 'integrated' label
Philadelphia ranking improves
Indianapolis has come a long way, despite its ranking
Even in the most integrated city, race is still a thorny issue

An editorial appeared on January 13, 2003, in which the editorial board acknowledged that there remain some issues of race and segregation in Milwaukee, but expressed satisfaction that the record had been set straight by the new study. Four columnists expressed more skepticism about whether any manipulation of numbers could change the reality of a highly divided metropolis. A St. Louis reporter questioned whether his city could take pride in its improved ranking on this study:


Editorial: A new look at segregation
Study or not, city has work to do on race
Many other black-white gaps demand area's attention
Hypersegregation label still applies to area suburbs
Can't shake impression of city's segregation
Dueling statistics do nothing but muddy the issue, some say

Public reaction was immediate. The following letters to the editor were published on January 19 and January 24, 2003. These include a letter from John Logan, Director of the Mumford Center. There were also news reports of critical public reactions by civil rights organizations, and a related story about segregation in the public schools:


Sunday Symposium
The Morning Mail
NAACP blasts integration study
For some, study belies racial realities
Discourage sprawl; encourage integration
All is not well when it comes to diversity here
Numbers tell one part of the story
State schools called segregated

A strong rebuttal to the series was prepared by Marc V. Levine, Gregory D. Squires and John F. Zip, social scientists who have studied Milwaukee extensively. This rebuttal summarizes the principal shortcomings of the research on which the series was based. The journalist responsible for the series and the researchers at UWM issued a defense of their work:


The debate continues on segregation
Life in Milwaukee, black and white
Point, counterpoint on reporting
Complaints not really about our methodology

Meanwhile, the Journal Sentinel published a related story on the Mumford Center's segregation research, with the headline "Professor drops cities instead of altering tactics". Following an exchange of messages between Dr. Logan and newspaper staff, the Journal-Sentinel published a partial correction:


Professor drops cities instead of altering tactics
E-mail from Dr. Logan to the David Vogel, Senior Editor, Journal Sentinel News Department
Response from George Stanley, Journal Sentinel Managing Editor, to Dr. Logan
Dr. Logan's response to George Stanley
Correction to original story


The original report on which the Journal Sentinel series was based is "Racial Integration in Urban America: A Block Level Analysis of African American and White Housing Patterns." by Lois M. Quinn and John Pawasarat, Employment and Training Institute, School of Continuing Education, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. To view the report, click here.


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