Janice Ellis

Janice Ellis

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.


The destructive power of the ‘fifth estate’

By: - 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 […]


Did you ever think you would see book bans in 21st century America?

By: - October 3, 2022

If you have ignored or had doubts about whether the concern that democracy is in danger in America, just look at the growing movement to ban books in our schools and libraries. There is a history of books being banned in the United States for their subject matter and content. Most notably during the colonial […]


We all have power within us to do good with our words

By: - September 19, 2022

Editor’s note: The following is a condensed excerpt from “Using My Word Power” by columnist Janice Ellis. The book is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books and other major online booksellers. It’s also available at the author’s website, Real Advocacy Journalism. I have been an advocate journalist for nearly four decades, which is nothing […]


Elected officials work for us. What criteria should we use to hire them?

By: - September 5, 2022

As we pause this Labor Day, we should reflect on what the holiday means and remember that elected officials in our city, county, state, the U.S. Senate, and House of Representatives work for us, the people. We are the employer. What guide or criteria should we use to determine who we should hire or rehire […]


When politicians use lies to undermine the rule of law, freedom and democracy

By: - August 22, 2022

There is a common belief that all politicians lie to some extent. There is also a school of thought that withholding or modifying the truth, given a particular circumstance, might be the better option or the most expedient thing to do. However, today, too many politicians are taking it to a new level. Spewing lies, […]


Our government only can function better if we vote wisely

By: - August 8, 2022

Few things are more important in determining how well our government functions than each of us taking time to become informed, and to vote wisely in selecting those who will represent us. The primary elections in Missouri, and in most states, are over. The midterm elections are just around the corner on Nov. 8. Wherever […]


They say information is power. Wrong. Accurate information is power

By: - July 18, 2022

Facts and accurate information matter. But disinformation has been and continues to be front and center, negatively impacting our political process. Somehow during the last several years in the public square, among our political leaders, some media outlets and social media platforms, often complete truth, facts and accurate information seem hard to find. The adage […]


On Fourth of July, let’s pause and reflect on America’s well-being

By: - July 4, 2022

As we pause to celebrate the birth of our nation, we need to seriously reflect on the state of its health and well-being. The greatest problems we face, while troubling, are not rising inflation, high gas prices, nor rampant gun violence. There is a deeper sickness growing in our land that threatens the very existence […]


Will Juneteenth have broader, enduring meaning as a national holiday? | Opinion

By: - June 20, 2022

In June 2021, Congress, with a unanimous vote in the Senate and support of all but 14 Republicans in the House of Representatives, passed legislation designating June 19th as Juneteenth National Independence Day, commemorating the end of slavery for Black Americans. But what does it really mean?  In the years to come, will it be […]


A democracy where the minority often rules | Opinion

By: - June 6, 2022

America’s form of democracy is supposed to be one where the consent of the majority rules. But is it? This question could not resonate any louder than when it comes to passing sensible gun control measures to stop the mass killing of unsuspecting citizens with military style weapons. The devastating tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, where […]


The abortion debate is filled with misinformation, hypocrisy | Opinion

By: - May 23, 2022

Embedded in the protracted abortion debate are many existing conditions and facts that are often omitted or distorted, along with blatant hypocrisy when it comes to promoting and protecting the wellbeing of millions of women and children already among us. Whether you take to the street in protest, seethe in anger or shudder silently in […]


Now is the time to remember the good our government does for us | Opinion

By: - May 2, 2022

With higher gas prices, rising food costs and near record inflation as we emerge from the worst pandemic in a 100 years, many of us may be struggling to make ends meet or move forward in any way — finding it difficult to see what government is doing to make our lives better. But as […]