Narrative and Counternarrative in Print‐mediated Coverage of Milwaukee Alderman Michael Mcgee

Document Type




Format of Original

17 p.

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

Quarterly Journal of Speech

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1080/00335630009384290; Shelves: PN4071 .Q3 Mem Periodicals


This essay mounts a counternarrative to address the mainstream print‐mediated coverage of Milwaukee alderman Michael McGee. In analyzing racialized discourse in Milwaukee, the essay highlights the importance of focusing on rhetoric marginalized in or outside of the public sphere. A clash in rhetorical style can subvert the substance of public discourse with deleterious social consequences. We contend that a true dialogue on race relations will not occur until whites assume the responsibility for engaging in and sustaining this dialogue. The essay also establishes a rationale for why it is critically important to the discipline and to our respective communities to focus on local discourse and discursive communities. Finally, we offer a number of suggestions concerning rhetorical critical practices and the roles that critics can play in bringing about social change.


Quarterly Journal of Speech, Vol. 86, N0. 2 (2000): 215-231. DOI.