Where are Woodward and Bernstein when you need them?
More than 40 years ago, these two Washington Post reporters doggedly followed the trail of an investigation over two years that led all the way to the White House — and the resignation of a U.S. President.
Prior to that, Charles Dickens wrote novels and stories revealing social injustice in Victorian England.
One could even say that the New Testament serves as an investigative report produced by multiple “reporters” who revealed events that the Roman empire wanted to keep hidden, according to William Gaines in his textbook Investigative Reporting for Print and Broadcast.
With this history of high-profile investigative reporting, the freedom of press, and Fourth Estate ideals in this country, you’d think that our veteran reporters would be all over the education “reform” that is gripping our country.
But as Diane Ravitch, education historian and advocate, reports on her blog, the mainstream media is mostly silent:
With some notable exceptions, like the Detroit Free Press and the Akron Beacon Journal, the mainstream media has simply ignored a widespread assault on the principle of free public education, democratically controlled, open to all. Instead, they print press releases written by corporations about “miracle schools,” where every child graduates and goes to college, without bothering to check facts.
Jeff Bryant, public education advocate and author of the Education Opportunity Network website, states that the news media was stunned by the recent NEA call for current U.S. Education Secretary’s resignation, and the media doesn’t understand the current of dissent rising from classroom teachers, parents, and students against the current crop of education reformers.
For years, collectivist actions in protest of public school policy have been scaling up from isolated protests to a nationwide movement of unified resistance. The movement is widespread among teachers, students, and parents. From the beginning, the movement was been grassroots driven and demanding of changes in the way our schools are being run.
How did the media miss this? What has happened to our investigative reporters? Where are the scrappy newspapers with barrels of ink and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests in hand?
What is my theory, as a teacher and a former newspaper reporter with a degree in Journalism?
The media today has been bought and sold; 90 percent of the media in our country are owned by the corporate cronies of those demolishing public education. The hands of the media have been tied.
Perhaps it’s time for an investigative reporter with some… grit…and an independent platform to take a hard look at education reform.
My advice? Follow the money.
I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.