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Media: Four Observations About Education Journalism From #EWA14*

There was no big news made at #EWA14.  No loud arguments, or big deals (other than the announcement that the next conference will be at the UofC). That's why we were all Tweeting about cakepops and other diversions. But there were still a bunch of tidbits to be noted about the state of education media and the people who provide it:

4. The rise of the nonprofit news outlets.  Chalkbeat rolled deep with a rumored 21 staffers in attendance, but there were also lots of other nonprofiteers in attendance (EdWeek, EdSource Today, SCPR/KPCC, Hechinger, etc.) In comparison, there was just a single NYT and LA Times reporter there,* and but a handful of AP reporters. (There are other reasons they don't feel the need to attend, but still...)

3. Changing of the guard (from journalism to other pursuits).  Banchero is out.  McNeil is out.  Turner is out (a year ago). Others are but a memory. They say they're sad but also look a little relieved.  It feels like there may be more moves out of journalism (as well as between outlets) to come. 

2. Notable outsiders/new faces in attendance included Nikole Hannah-Jones from ProPublica (who had some things to say about attendance zone "gerrymandering" that might make progressives reconsider their defense of neighborhood schools), the new communications team from College Board (fresh off their big SAT rollout success), Xian Barrett and Anthony Cody (teacher advocate/activists who've attended on and off for the past couple of years) but no Ray Salazar, alas.

1. Soft interviews with Weingarten and Duncan.  All due respect to the Washington Post's Layton and NPR's Drummond, but their interviews lacked the friendly but tough questions and followups that I recall John Merrow and others (Jay Mathews?) providing at past events when public officials rambled through their usual talking points. It wasn't just me who thought so -- lots of grumbling from the back rows (though not on Twitter - cowards!).

What'd I miss or get wrong?  When do we get to see or hear the panels we missed?  Did everyone get home safely and easily?

*EWA's Caroline Hendrie tells me that there were two other LAT reporters there -- Stephen Cesar and Larry Gordon. 

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