Sunday, January 27, 2008

Would It Kill FOX News To Report Anything Positive About Education For A Change?!

I mean, really, would it? In the interest of getting balance in my news I read from a number of different sources. FOX (for better or worse, okay usually worse) happens to be one them. I don't know how many times I've loaded up the FOX News webpage only to be served up the latest story of the day about the ills of education. Yes, I know this is American and yes, I usually don't pay that much attention to American education issues generally but it seems to me that the only thing FOX is concerned about is painting the school system in the poorest light possible. The latest FOX offering I came across this evening has to do with some states wanting to pass laws to toughen punishments for teachers who abuse students. Fair enough. Their reporting goes on to note that in the past year there were something in the neighborhood of 2570 reports of abuse. That seems like a high number to me and I'm not going to dispute it, but the report goes on to mention there are something like 3 million teachers in the American public school system. 3 million?! So that means there are 2,997,430 teachers left over. Surely a huge media giant like FOX could spare a reporter or 3 to head out and track down some positive stories from this higher total. But no, play up the bad.

Granted there are times when I can understand some of the stories they run. I've read a lot of stories in the past dealing with abuse or teachers overstepping their bounds and of course these should be reported. Let me be clear - Any teacher or other professional simply doesn't deserve their job if they engage in these questionable behaviours, union be damned.

But truly, in the interest of fairness and balance (and yes I am grinning to myself as I type this as I know these words mean nothing to the FOX News clowns), you would think they would occassionally, from time to time have something positive to report. There are good stories out there about teachers making a difference but sadly they are not told. I played around on their search engine looking for something, anything, that would prove my suspicions groundless but, alas, I conceded defeat after several minutes of fruitless searching.

I know there aren't that many Canadian readers interested in FOX news (and indeed if that network ever got onto Canadian airwaves, I would view it as one of the signs of the apocalypse) and probably feel the same way about it as I do but if anyone, Canadian, American or otherwise, can give me a clear and reasoned explanation for FOX's lack of balance on this issue I could rest well. The only explanation I can think of off the top of my head is that FOX (as a very obvious instrument of right-wing republicanism) simply wants to do away with public education in favour of a privatized pay-as-you-go private system. But then, this is simply my own little theory. I'm just a humble social studies teacher - and FOX hates me.


Anonymous said...

Darcy. Darcy, Darcy.

The media? Balanced? Positive? Er?

Until viewers and readers STOP watching and reading, sending a clear message that they don't like all the negative content, FOX nor any other major news group is not going to make a big shift from stories of train wrecks and abuse to those of the small successes and happy things people experience every day.

I avoid the news for this reason. Ian is my news weeder. He reads it ALL and tells me the good or important stuff. Maybe I'm actually just lazy about it, but I'd like to think I've made a choice and it matters.

Let's you and me start up our own news group. We'll call it "Happy News" or "Daily Dose of Happy" or something like that!

-jennifer of nunablog