Brookings: Olde Timey Panel, Olde Timey Report
Or maybe I can.
Oh yes, now it's coming clearer.
Right there. Yep. That's it.
The "olde timey" thing.
Perhaps it's the fact that, while I admire Russ Whitehurst and EJ Dionne greatly, I don't think of either of them as particularly expert on the topic of education journalism. These are not folks who've thought long and hard about this issue, or whose knowledge is particularly deep.
Or maybe it's that the panelists they've gathered for the event include two esteemed former [mainstream] journalists (Richard Colvin and Dale Mezzacappa) whom I would describe as traditional if not downright reactionary in their views on new media such as blogs, plus a think tank guy (Andy Rotherham) who until recently didn't even allow reader comments on his blog. (Still no response, by the way.) Most problematic of all, there's no one currently in a newsroom involved on the panel, nor anyone with a strong background in new media.
Then there's the report itself, which from what little I've read comes off as awkward and obvious and not particularly helpful. The "No Reader Left Behind" title is awful and lazy. Sure, it's good to know that during the past nine months coverage of education made up just 1.4 percent of national news coverage, and that K12 education dominated what little coverage that got produced. But I for one am not prepared to write off coverage about budget cuts and H1N1, which the report belittles as being unimportant to the core issues of learning. Gak.
And at this point I'm also a little bit tired of the "woe is me" moaning and groaning about the sad state of the journalism industry, and surprised and disappointment at the continued diminishment of nontraditional coverage: "None of these [new methods] can replace regular, systematic and ongoing coverage of education by news outlets," states the executive summary. It's as if my Chicago blog District 299 (recently added to the Chicago Tribune's hive of blogs), GothamSchools in New York, or any of several other examples of regular, systematic education coverage don't exist.