About this blog Subscribe to this blog

Journalism: Replacing "Reformers" & "Reform Critics" With What?

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn raises the nagging issue of journalists using the word "reform" in their work, noting that it's unfair and misleading (in education and other contexts).  

It's not a new concern.  Some newsrooms have already decided against it.  Via Twitter, EdWeek's Sawchuk tells us that reporters there are banned from using it.  

And it's not just those who aren't reformers who might be ready for a change. Some reformers -- notably John Deasy -- came to hate the highly charged term, since it lumped him in with others he thought were more extreme or had other agendas.

I'm open to using another term, and have toyed with alternatives to reform/reform critic in the past.  But 2010's "reformy" never took off like I hoped it would, and 2013's "reformsters" was also a dud.  

So what to call them, and what to call them who oppose them?

 

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This is in the San Francisco Chronicle stylebook:

'Avoid use of “reform” or “reformer.” “Reform” means a change for the better.

'A reform to one person may be a change for the worse to another.'

It's actually under "country-specific information/Russia," and nobody knows it's there; the newspaper uses "reform" frequently in the manner Zorn criticizes. But it IS there. Duplicating this comment on John Thompson's post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.