The Business and Media Institute just released an interesting report dealing with media bias and education privatization. In the report, Julia Seymour looks at the media’s response to a new report (featured on the cover of Time magazine) that made several suggestions for improving the nation’s education systems. The recommendations included privately-run schools and steps toward school choice. How did the media cover the report? Says Seymour, they “downplayed solutions that leaned toward privatization, either ignoring or criticizing them.”
Take Time, for example:
“The report, from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, graced the December 18 cover of Time. The commission recommended a drastic overhaul of the public education system, including privately-run schools. But in more than 3,000 words the magazine never used the word ‘privatization.’ Instead, on the third page of the article, Time referred to the commission?s call to ‘reorganize who runs the schools.'”
Other news outlets, such as the AP mentioned the ideas, but only called on critics for commentary:
“A December 14 Associated Press story buried the suggestion for privatizing public education in its eleventh paragraph: ‘One other major shift would put independent contractors in charge of operating schools, though the schools would remain public.’ AP included two critics of that idea in the story, but not a single proponent of it.”
Check out the full report here.