MEDIA WATCH: The Sun-Times never actually printed the LaRaviere analysis showing Chicago's turnarounds and charters were underperforming... Just left it on the Website

This morning (September 4, 2014), the blogger Diane Ravitch noted that the Chicago Tribune has not published Troy LaRaviere's analysis showing that Chicago's charter and turnarounds schools have failed when compared with the city's real public schools. Since the weekend, LaRaviere's analysis has been making the rounds -- but it was never actually printed in the Sun-Times!

Union members and supporters picketed the Chicago Sun-Times's new offices in the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza after the newspaper's new owners, led by Michael Ferro Jr., a friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, fired all of the newspaper's photojournalists. One of those fired by the Sun-Times was Pulitzer Prize winning photo journalist John H White (on the right side in the photo above). Since 2011, the Sun-Times has been reorganized into an Internet property which Ferro was reported to be hoping to flip at a profit. The Sun-Times now does less general news reporting than at any time in its history or the history of its predecessors, the Chicago Sun and the Chicago Times.Chicago Tribune is not the only daily newspaper that refused to print the LaRaviere analysis.

The Sun-Times didn't print it either!

As part of my job media watching and covering Chicago's public schools, I subscribe to and read the print editions of the Chicago dailies (as well as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal) ever day. When word came that the LaRaviere piece was "in the Sun-Times" I went through the Sun-Times -- print edition -- and didn't find it. That was on September 1. Then September 2. Now it's September 4 and I have all of the copies of the Chicago Sun-Times since last Thursday sitting in front of me -- and the column is not in any of them.

Since Labor Day weekend began, the Sun-Times has published five print editions.

August 30, 2014 (Saturday). 48 pages.

August 31 2014 (Sunday). 80 pages. The Sun-Times did publish a full page story, headlined "Growing Gains And Pains", which quoted Troy LaRaviere -- but NOT his analysis. They did publish an Op Ed headlined "Let CPS counselors do their jobs", but not LaRaviere's piece.

September 1, 2014 (Monday). 60 pages. Among the other stuffings that appeared that day in the Sun-Times were "You're cute, smart for reading this column" (by pundit Neil Steinberg), "A zombie's boo..." and several political stories.

September 2, 2014 (Tuesday, the day the kids went back to school). 64 pages. Full pages in the Sun-Times that day included 'HACKED, FBI gets involved as private nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, other celebs surface..." and "FOREVER GOOSEBUMPS" on how the R. L. Stine books are finally going to become movies.

The current owners of the Sun-Times have tried (desperately) to monetize their "property" into a entity, among other things by firing a large number of reporters (including all of their photo journalists, among those two who had won Pulitzer prizes) and filling their pages with punditry, fluffery and flumoxery. A reader who wants accurate news reporting in CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.COM (that's what they call it today) has to go to the sport pages. Like the totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe before 1989, this "newspaper" specializes in photos of the Supreme Leader (there was one stretch about a year ago when Rahm Emanuel was on the front page a dozen times in one month, promoting me to surmise that there must be an upcoming Pulitzer Prize for Pandering that we hadn't heard about) and accuracy in the sports pages. During the final years of the Ceasescu dictatorship in Romania (which I covered most closely while working with the Chicago-based Democratic Romania newspaper), the formula was clear: Praise the dictator (and his wife, in the case of Romania) and make sure you get all the football news in accurately and early.

Should anyone find Troy LaRaviere's lengthy and well documented analysis in print in the Sun-Times, please share it.

Meanwhile, let's not chide the Chicago Tribune so quickly. Over the past couple of days, they've done a bit more to cover Chicago reality than SUN-TIMES.COM, even going so far as to report on that $100,000 bottle of wine Rahm was carrying while vacationing with billionaire Bruce Rauner (and today putting in print a delightful editorial cartoon on the same topic).


September 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

News suppression

There is no major newspaper in this country that can be trusted to tell the whole truth. The Sun-Times used to have a more unbiased publication but now there is no difference between the two.

September 4, 2014 at 6:04 PM

By: Margaret Wilson

News suppression

There is no major newspaper in this country that can be trusted to tell the whole truth. The Sun-Times used to have a more unbiased publication but now there is no difference between the two.

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