Tuesday, April 18, 2006

reporter or teacher?

We know lots of teachers who complain that society wants them to do many jobs: babysitter, rule enforcer, ethicist, job trainer, parent. But news reporters have the opposite problem: Sources who think they should be teachers. If you've always thought that the point of media relations is to get reporters to "educate" the public, think again. Most reporters we know would argue that's not their job, and bristle at the use of that term. Rightly so -- a news story's intent should be to summon the facts as they are known right now, and use short-term priorities to organize them. Later, history -- and actual educators -- may see the facts in a different light, and be able to add perspective. News outlets keep us updated and entertained, but let's not ask them to be teachers as well.

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