Janice Ellis has lived and worked in Missouri for more than three decades, analyzing educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. Her commentary has appeared in The Kansas City Star, community newspapers, on radio and now online. She is the author of two award-winning books: From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream (2018) and Shaping Public Opinion: How Real Advocacy Journalism™ Should be Practiced (2021). Ellis holds a Ph.D. in communication arts, and two Master of Arts degrees, one in communications arts and a second in political science, all from the University of Wisconsin.
Campaigns to kill ‘wokeness’ are efforts to perpetuate racism, disenfranchisement
By: Janice Ellis - March 20, 2023
Spending time fighting “woke,” “wokeness,” and a so-called “culture war” instead of focusing on the real issues and problems we face as a nation is a downright miscarriage of the political and legislative processes. Legislators, political leaders and potential candidates have found a new strawman to use to reenergize and promote continued racism and disenfranchisement. […]
When major news sources report and promote lies, what is the public to do?
By: Janice Ellis - March 6, 2023
The recent revelation that multiple hosts on Fox News deliberately misled their audience — reporting and promoting the lie that there was rampant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election when they knew there was none — may not be surprising but is definitely damning. Every American who cares about the role of the press […]
America is the world’s most powerful democracy. Why is it impotent to stop mass gun violence?
By: Janice Ellis - February 20, 2023
Whether in a grocery store, a place of worship, a shopping mall, a community celebration, at work or in school, you are at risk for becoming a victim of senseless gun violence. Why is America the only industrialized nation in the world that is plagued by frequent mass shootings? Has our form of democracy allowed […]
Doesn’t the Missouri legislature have more important issues to deal with?
By: Janice Ellis - February 6, 2023
With just a little more than a month into the new legislative session, there is still time for Missouri lawmakers to change direction and focus on issues that are important to many Missourians. But, will they? The legislature got off to a roaring start proposing bills to limit transgender students’ participation in schools’ sports, and […]
News media literacy is more important than ever
By: Janice Ellis - January 23, 2023
This week has been designated as “National News Literacy Week.” It could not be more important or timely as we continue to be bombarded with misinformation, disinformation and downright lies in all corners of the public square. What is most alarming is the utter disregard and disrespect for facts and truth practiced and tolerated by […]
Our two-party system is broken. Can anything fix it?
By: Janice Ellis - January 9, 2023
While our two-party system of government has never functioned perfectly, in recent years it has become more and more dysfunctional — not only in Washington but in many state houses. Why? Have both the Republican and Democratic parties been weakened and crippled by extreme ideological factions in their ranks? Has each party lost its core […]
During the holiday season, make time to assess, adjust and commit
By: Janice Ellis - December 26, 2022
In the midst of holiday festivities with family and friends — and the anticipation of a new year — it is unlikely we are able to totally escape the sense of unease about our personal situations, or feelings that our nation and the world seem unmoored. While the holiday season offers a brief respite from […]
Civic education and engagement must become higher priorities
By: Janice Ellis - December 12, 2022
The ongoing focus in the public square should not be on former President Donald Trump’s pronouncement that all rules, regulations, laws and articles found in the Constitution of the United States be terminated so he can be reinstated as president. Instead, the concern should be more about what long-term impact such a statement has on […]
Dear elected officials: Stop the infighting and do your jobs
By: Janice Ellis - November 28, 2022
There are any number of takeaways one can glean from the recent midterm elections. But one that should be getting more attention is that the public is sick and tired of bitter bickering and obsession with false issues at the expense of the real ones that need fixing. As Congress and state legislatures around the […]
We must wage war on climate change to save the Earth
By: Janice Ellis - November 14, 2022
When a country’s sovereignty or well-being is threatened, it mobilizes to protect itself even if means going to war. Defeating the threats, dangers and possible annihilation of the earth and life as we know it will require the same. This past week, more than 100 world leaders gathered for the Climate Summit to continue their […]
Vote. The future of our state and nation is riding on it
By: Janice Ellis - October 31, 2022
Voting has never been more important. The future well-being of our state and nation may very well depend on voters making informed decisions on Nov. 8. It is imperative voters know where candidates stand on the issues that matter most. But a candidate’s positions on issues don’t form in a vacuum or emerge out of […]
The destructive power of the ‘fifth estate’
By: Janice Ellis - October 17, 2022
In today’s environment, one could argue that social media has become a primary source of information just as much as the traditional press — regardless of whether the content is reliable or not. The press, free from government control and oversight, has long been referred to as the fourth estate because of its watchdog role […]