I've referred to Laura McKenna a couple of times previously regarding her son with autism and her background as a journalist. Most regular readers will know that I loosely follow how “the press” covers children with disabilities. Dr. Ms. Professor McKenna follows that topic much more closely than I do, so here I want to call attention to her post (21 March 2022) entitled, “How Objective is Education Journalism?”
Here's her lede:
During the pandemic, parents often complained to me that journalism was biased and wasn’t covering the real damage done to their kids during school shutdowns. They pointed to the dawn to dusk coverage on CNN of the dangers that existed in schools, but little discussion about learning lag, speech delays, mental health issues and the host of other social ills caused by remote education. They scanned the front page of the New York Times looking for news on a topic that concerned them the most — their kids — and saw nothing.
McKenna raised a terrifically important topic: Can parents and educators trust the media to present education accurately, appropriately, and objectively?
Readers will, of course, have to form their own opinions. There are many factors that influence journalists’ articles about education. Readers prefer stories with a positive valence, articles are often formulaic, and there was an echo-chamber in the education press.
As some readrers of SET will anticipate, my concern are about the extent to which researchers transparently present their methods and results and objectively describe effective practices and educators’ adoption of them. I wish journalism would go beyond the human-interest angle.
McKenna raised many important concerns fron a parent’s and a journalist’s perspective. Well worth a read and a lot of thought.
McKenna, L. (2022-03-21). How objective is education journalism? https://educatedparent.substack.com/p/how-objective-is-education-journalism