MEDIA WATCH: CNN does a nice job covering the SOS rally, march and issues

While the Substance MEDIA WATCH generally tracks the predations of corporate media in the USA (what could be more corporate propaganda than the facts (a) that The New York Times ignored the SOS conference, rally and march on July 30, 2011; and (b) that Fox News Chicago is doing advertisements for Teacher for America in the form of "news" reports?), from time to time there is a really good example of how corporate media could work to tell a story accurately. The most recent example came from CNN on August 4, 2011, and is available at the following URL:

One of the signs carried during the SOS march on July 30 reprinted a cartoon depicting Barack Obama and Arne Duncan turing kids into multiple-choice zombies. Substance photo by Susan Zupan.

If this kind of thoughtful coverage keeps up, CNN might find itself earning praises it hasn't heard since its courageous coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans had its reporters facing nasty soldiers threatening to arrest them if they went one step farther in the direction of the real stories. Meanwhile, it was refreshing to see a news story that simply told the news from the SOS events, instead of doing either a celebrity quickie (featuring Matt Damon) or some lopsided corporate piece where a teacher was quoted, and then a half dozen talking heads from the usual list of corporate "school reform" suspects — to name a few: the American Enterprise Institute; Achieve, Inc.; Ed Trust; Democrats for Education Reform; Stand for Children — or the dozens of other subsidized apologists for Race To The Top are line up to take potshots at the SOS events.

Anyone reading this who still subscribes to The New York Times might want to demand from their public editor why America's newspaper of record deliberately ignored the huge SOS events, from the pre-rally conference to the post-rally congress. And the ongoing local events in several places that we've already reported in Substance as SOS energizes a national movement and coalition against high-stakes testing and the terrible policies of Arne Duncan, the U.S. Department of Education, and Race to the Top. Will the story only be "news fit to print" when America's teachers stand up by the thousands, turn their back on Barack Obama and the other corporate front men who are still pushing corporate school reform and the destruction of public education, and show again, as they did in November 2010, that a President who insults and slanders America's public school teachers is doing to lose a lot of elections (first for his party, and later himself).


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