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Saturday, June 25, 2016

What passes for education reporting in Jacksonville, updated

Friends the sad fact is when it comes to education we don't have the media we deserve. An uninformed electorate will never make the best choice who to elect to the school board and the media has all but abdicated their responsibility to inform us. To prove my case I present two examples.

First a local political writer all but admits the media doesn't do its job.

From Florida Politics: Two powerful incumbents on the Duval County School Board got through the qualifying deadline without drawing opposition Friday, ensuring their re-election.

Cheryl Grymes, targeted by at least one enterprising activist attempting to plant stories maligning her for taking money from charter school king Gary Chartrand, drew no opposition in School Board District 1.
I believe I am the enterprising activist looking to malign as I practically begged everyone I could think of to report on Cheryl Grimes campaign contributions. If by planting he means asked and by maligning he met inform then yep I plead guilty.
Now there was a back page article in the Folio Weekly submitted by a private citizen and WJCT did a very basic piece two days before the filing deadline on the education page of their web-site (not on the radio), what you didn't know they had a website? But other than that the local media was disappointingly silent on the subject. I have a different view and that's I want to know who paying for influence and I think it is important the people do too.    
Wouldn't it have been nice if the media reported who Grimes was taking money weeks ago from rather than just dedicating a snarky throw away line to it, omitting her most egregious donors, after the filing deadline had passed?

Update: WJCT did  run a 40 second spot where they named the candidates.
Then today the Times Union did a piece about who has qualified for the August 30th ballot. Please take a moment to look it over.
Where they mention other local races they don't even mention the school board races. two of which have already been decided. You know because school board races aren't even important enough to mention.
It's sad but we can't trust the media to do their job but just because they have abdicated their responsibility it doesn't mean that we can, we have to inform ourselves about the candidates especially in the district 7 race. 
The district 7 race is I believe the most important race in a generation. It will determine if we are full speed ahead with privatization/corporate style reforms and the destruction of our neighborhood schools or if we listen to teachers and put in place common sense policies.
Jacksonville does not have the media it needs but if we choose to remain ignorant then it does have the media it deserves.

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