Site map
Corporate Propaganda Research Archive

Aug. 2012-Aug. 2013: the Barbwire's Silver Anniversary Year
Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

For sale: The American way of life — and death
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-12-2013 Sparks Tribune
Expanded and updated 9-25 and 10-14-2013

   Everybody knows the dice are loaded.
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
   Everybody knows the war is over.
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
   Everybody knows the fight was fixed.
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
   That's how it goes. Everybody knows.

Everybody knows the scene is dead
   But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
   What everybody knows.

— Leonard Cohen

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award



Watch for show times. Help us get the word out.

Support the project at

Updated 8-30-2011
Reruns on Carson-Dayton 226

Additional programs
on Boulder City cable. Go to and then
go to the BCTV link.

If Reform Fails: Health Care, Jobs and Unions — new power to the people on the public airwaves

The program premiers were available to every television set in the region because of a high-mileage media hybrid.

The shows appeared on both commercial and community stations. The non-corporate entity produced the events, commercial TV greatly expanded distribution.

Thus began an ongoing series of sane public interest programs which generate both entertaining heat and more than a little light.

Please spread the word and consider contributing to the cause online at ReSurge.TV.

You may also take the public option known as the U.S. Postal Service and send a check or money order to ReSurge.TV, P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

Your contribution will help fund the distribution as well as ongoing efforts at developing new media, including a regional, non-corporate community radio station and the return of community television to Reno-Sparks-Washoe.

You are present at the creation of what I hope can become a new media model where the programming accurately reflects what's happening on the ground and the media impact is powerful enough to forcefully pass the message upward.


Be well. Raise hell.


Click here for selected on-demand re-runs from the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Barbwire.TV archives

15-year overnight success

Daily Sparks Tribune 2-10-2008

The Barbwire's Greatest Hits
Highlights from radio days
mp3 file

HAT TRICK: Barbwire wins 3rd straight Nevada Press Association First-Place Award


Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick passed away a few days ago. If you believe her obituary, she was not a very nice person.

On Sept. 10, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a vicious hit, sight-unseen.

When contacted by blogger Caity Weaver of, the RGJ's publisher pulled it off his newspaper's website.

Both former Tribune reporter Dennis Myers and my flagship website inadvertently got into the middle of the fray.

Ms. Weaver did a websearch and one Marianne Reddick came up on an installment of Myers' daily historical almanac at

It was not flattering. Ms. Weaver linked it to her blog. (Click on the "Whites Only" link).

RGJ Publisher John Maher told Ms. Weaver that the obituary "was a paid placement that was submitted via our self-service, online portal."

Aye, there's the rub.

Reporters and editors must always be involved but increasingly are not.

Let the newly departed be buried with a little dignity.

God and history will judge them soon enough.

I make no judgments about either Ms. Reddick or whomever authored the cruel comments published in the Reno paper.

However, such posthumous character assassination presents an extreme example of what's wrong with paid obits.

I have been critical since the virus began to spread more than a decade ago. See ReSurge.TV/

I once offered to start a non-profit to raise money for families unable to afford exorbitant RGJ ad rates.

It may be the only instance in the history of the ghoulishly greedy Gannett chain that they turned down free money.

The RGJ began its transition to paid pallbearer by continuing to allow a few inadequate lines at no charge, a loss-leader.

Eventually, families were required to fully pay or their loved one's death was ignored, emotional blackmail.

In recent years, the paper began listing names in tiny type.

My best guess is that that Tribune still prints occasional obits at no charge but if a family wants to pay for its own spread, it can go through the ad department like the RGJ. According to the Trib's website, we haven't published an obituary since May of last year.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Tribune editorial staff changed the latter paragraph to read as follows: The Tribune still prints occasional obits, and at a much-lower fee than the RGJ. A family can pay for its own spread, going through the paper's ad department.

Looks like my best guess was wrong. I thus surmise that, as with the Reno Gazette-Journal, all obituaries of the non-prominent require payment. Former Tribune editor Nathan Orme commented against the practice shortly after coming aboard in 2007. Well, we at least held out longer than most.

Former RGJ Executive Editor Barbara Henry once stated that one of the hard and fast rules of newspapering that she learned early on was "never make a mistake in an obituary."

Looks like the industry's handling of the issue is now one big wholesale mistake accelerating on the road downhill toward irrelevance.

I think Nathan's attitude from 2007 remains the proper marketing and ethical decision. Yeah, I know, therein lies the rub. You can't cash ethics at the bank — but you can build a paper on community service and nothing touches the community like births and deaths.

Maybe I belong in the 19th Century with Travus T. Hipp.— AB

The Reno paper's embarrassment shows what can happen when journalists are cut out of the process.

Paid obits allow errors and gross sins of omission that violate the first draft of history that newspapers are charged with the lofty responsibility of writing.

Family-drafted obits often forget basics like dates of birth and death.

Ms. Johnson-Reddick is noted to have died about three weeks from now.

I once refused a job because a widow wanted the existence of one of her daughters ignored.

Perhaps the Reddick case can change things.

Maybe corporate lawyers will jump in. The dead can't sue but libeled living relatives can.

Somebody needs to proof-read.

To survive, newspapers must go back to the future and remember what's important to the communities they serve and their readers both living and dead.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.

More memos of the grateful dead


HONOR YOUR DON. Keep sending comments supporting legendary Nevada photographer Don Dondero (1920-2003) for the Nevada Press Association Hall of Fame.

His life's work appeared worldwide, including the Tribune and most probably every one in Nevada.

Enlist in the campaign to install Big Don.

Please send me your memories and endorsements via e-mail or to P.O. Box 10034, Reno NV 89510.

The Barbwire got the late Reno Gazette-Journal columnist Guy Richardson elected last year.

Let's go for a repeat.

"Media is the plural of mediocre."
                              — Jimmy Breslin


BARBWIRE.TV. Support the return of community TV to these parts.

If last year's elections didn't convince you of the need, the 2013 legislature certainly should have.

Join up. You may donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me.

This is important.

Thank you.

Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno. (Pardon my Spanglish.)






Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan, chair of the Nevada César Chávez Committee, producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration, first vice-president and political action chair of the Reno-Sparks NAACP, labor/consumer/civil rights advocate, member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO and editor of and As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Check local listings for other Nevada cable systems. E-mail Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks Tribune since 1988.

Smoking Guns...

Jake Highton: The obituary told the truth
Sparks Tribune 10-10-2013

Barbwire more than a decade ahead of the curve —>
The campaign against forcibly paid obituaries

Scathing obituary reveals lives of abuse, neglect
Daughter, son didn't expect mother's obit to go viral
By Siobahn McAndrew / Reno Gazette-Journal 9-12-2013

Angry obituary causes fuss at Reno newspaper
By Ed Vogel / Las Vegas Review-Journal / 9-11-2013

Barbano memo to a Nevada journalist / 9-16-2013

I have completely overlooked the most critical objection: The RGJ's paid obits are not disclaimed as ads.

It's bad enough that a full-page ad for some cockamamie product or investment scheme, laid out as news, is usually disclaimed only by pica type at the top as an "advertisement."

Nonesuch appears with paid obits.

Cockamamie, Inc., naturally wants to take advantage of confused readers who erroneously assume that a journalist has investigated the veracity of its product claims.

Paid obituaries are worse because, based on decades or centuries of tradition, readers assume obits have been researched and written by journalists. The RGJ does not tell them otherwise. A very serious sin of omission.

I am most disappointed by yesterday's thousand words of corporate mealy-mouthing by the RGJ publisher.

In this case, I would cut the baby in half: run the text of the family-written obit with borders laid out and disclaimed as a paid ad, as all of them should be.

Then, because of the sensational content and because the submitters became public figures when they testified at the ledge in 1987, I would assign a journalist to write a story, which the RGJ tardily did after public outrage.

I still firmly believe that all obits should be written by journalists.

As I note in my piece, since the RGJ and perhaps many others are publishing obits unseen by humans other than the submitters, perhaps lawyers will now get involved and warn them of the dangers.

Be well. Raise hell.


...and more ammo...

We Don't Need No Education
The continuing Barbwire series

The Post-Dated Recession: Pay me now or pay me later
Barbwire by Barbano / Expanded from the 9-6-2012 Daily Sparks Tribune

The Post-dated Recession
By Joshua H. Silavent / Daily Sparks Tribune / 5-3-2011

Union decline and rising inequality in two charts
by Colin Gordon
Economic Policy Institute / 6-5-2012

Used in
journalist Mark Robison's extensive Hard Labor: Nevada unions tout role in helping workers, firms, economy (Sunday 2 Sept. 2012 Reno Gazette-Journal, page one, Reno Rebirth section of the print edition). Union men Jim Burrell, Paul McKenzie and Guy Louis Rocha did the movement proud. Not included in the RGJ online edition.

The Barbwire Labor Day column
Reno Gazette-Journal / 9-3-2012

Nevada Press Assn. Better Newspaper Contest
HAT TRICK: Barbwire takes first place three years in a row.

The winning entries
Suing for Schools: The 20-year shuck

Expanded from the 2-21-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

Click here to view the show on your desktop

RED flags flying low over Sparks
Expanded from the 1-10-2010 Daily Sparks Tribune

The wrath of self-righteous racism
Expanded from the 11-8-2009 Daily Sparks Tribune

The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries
And they wonder why the newspaper business is dying?


The Dean's List

   The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006

The 2009 first-place Nevada Press Association award winners
Tony the Tiger & the flaky NFL
Barbwire / 11-30-2008
Deregulation is never having to say you're sorry
Barbwire / 8-3-2008
Nevada: A good place to visit, but do you want to live here?
Barbwire / 6-15-2008

...and more ammo yet | U-News | Bulletins + Almanac
Casinos Out of Politics (COP) | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors
| BallotBoxing.US | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Annual César Chávez Celebration
War Rooms:
Banks, Cabbies, Cabela's/cabellyup, Cable TV, Cancer Kids/Mining, Energy, Food, Health Care, Resurge.TV/consumers, Starbucks, Wal-Mart
Search this site | In Search Of...


Copyright © 1982-2013 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 44-year Nevadan, editor of and; and former chair of the City of Reno's Citizens Cable Compliance Committee, He is producer of Nevada's annual César Chávez Day celebration and serves as first vice-president, political action chair and webmaster of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. E-mail

Barbwire by Barbano moved to Nevada's Daily Sparks Tribune on Aug. 12, 1988, and has originated in them parts ever since.
Whom to blame: How a hall-of-famer's hunch birthed the Barbwire in August of 1987
Tempus fugit.

Site composed and maintained by Deciding Factors, CWA 9413 signatory

Comments and suggestions appreciated. Sign up for news and bulletins