Sunday, February 2, 2003

OmbudSunday: a partial roundup of ombudsman columns

# The Louisville Courier-Journal: Pam Platt tells us what the loss of the shuttle Columbia means to her.

# The Florida Times-Union: Mike Clark quotes “Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media reporter, on the good old days of the news media:”

There was no golden age (of journalism). There was certainly a time when politics and government were treated more substantively and seriously by the media. But what some people mythologize as the good old days was a time when women wrote mainly for what was known as the women's pages, when newsrooms were almost entirely white, when news about Negroes was treated differently than news about whites. Reporters of the Front Page mold may have been more in tune with the people they were writing for, but they were less educated, less specialized, less knowledgeable and sometimes drunker than today's journalists.

Oh, and some media columnist for a European newspaper, famous for its sophisticated use of the words "fuck" and “cunt,” opines that “In the American press, day after day, the White House controls the agenda. The supposedly liberal American press has become a dog that never bites, hardly barks but really loves rolling over and having its tummy tickled.''

# The Washington Post: Michael Getler reports that a “reader sent the following message last Monday:”

I implore you to challenge the paper's editorial staff to question the President's unwillingness to participate in press conferences, especially now when our nation is being led into war. I find it astonishing that so few reporters/columnists have brought the Bush administration's refusal to face the press to the public's attention, because, frankly, this avoidance of accountability is both disturbing and ominous.

While acknowledging that President Bush has held about the same number of news conferences as Presidents Carter and Ford, and more than Nixon, at this point in his first term, Getler (whose anti-war sympathies are seldom far from the surface) calls on the President to hold a “a proper, announced-in-advance, full-scale presidential news conference sometime between now and when the bombs start dropping,” to allow for “concentrated follow-up questioning.”

# The Oregonian: Dan Hortsch responds to a message sent by the state Superintendent of Public Instruction “to nearly 200 school district superintendents. The Superintendent wanted to ‘correct the misleading headline and story’ that appeared that day in The Oregonian.”

The Oregonian piece, headlined "Oregon will set a lower bar for minority, disadvantaged students," is about how the “State Board of Education's adoption of a plan to alter the timelines in meeting some requirements of the No Child Left Behind federal education law” would set “standards for the next decade for low-income, minority and other students [that] would be lower than for nondisadvantaged students.”

Hortsch reports that the piece is fairly accurate, and that state officials believe their approach to be “a sound, gradual approach to closing the achievement gap, rather than set unrealistic targets for schools." He notes that, “state education officials also objected to use of the word ‘lower’ in reference to standards that would be used for students in certain groups. They contend that in fact Oregon would raise standards from the present.”

No comments:

Post a Comment