Blog: The Educated Reporter
Covering Protests: Education Journalists’ Voices From the Field
'The protest stories are education stories'
Across the country, education reporters are out in the field covering community protests mounted in response to police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
How Journalists Can Fact-Check Highly Emotional Stories
Misinformation on social media runs rampant during protests over George Floyd's death
Are left-leaning extremists inciting riots in Idaho? Is a Minnesota McDonald’s burning after protests? Did a protestor steal a Chicago police horse?
No, no and no. All of these claims — which were all shared widely on social media — are false. But in highly emotional situations like demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd, misinformation and disinformation can take on a life of its own on social media.
Here are several resources for combating misinformation in your reporting — and some examples of debunked stories.
Tools to Help Reporters Examine Their Racial Biases
Reporting guides and other materials to guard against unconscious bias
Among the biggest challenges journalists face these days: covering race issues accurately and fairly. Reporters not steeped in the subcultures they’re sent out to cover must especially guard against ways their own unconscious biases, or ignorance might cause them to unintentionally reinforce unwarranted stereotypes or even reinforce community traumas.
Below, we’ve gathered reporting guides; materials to help you acknowledge your privilege; books on racial inequities in schools; and places you can donate.
Word on the Beat: School Resource Officer
In wake of nationwide protests over George Floyd's death, role of school police is questioned
On June 2, the Minneapolis School Board voted unanimously to sever its ties with the city’s police department, which had provided training and oversight for its armed school resource officers. The decision came in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a city police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. Several officers involved in the incident now face felony charges.
What’s New With ‘Varsity Blues’
The latest on the college-admissions scandal, and how COVID-19 is reshaping what campuses will look like this fall
(EWA Radio: Episode 239)
With more celebrity defendants pleading guilty to using a high-priced fixer to help their kids cheat their way into top colleges, what’s been the impact on college admissions? The Wall Street Journal’s Melissa Korn, whose book on the “Varsity Blues” scandal has been optioned for a television project, discusses the latest developments, as well as the fallout more broadly for higher education.
Covering Protests? Here’s What You Need to Know.
Education reporters on the job among those arrested, injured at recent demonstrations protesting death of George Floyd
Education reporters across the country are covering the protests that have flared up in response to the death of George Floyd, who died in Minnesota last week after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. (Some officers involved in the incident, which took place during an arrest in a neighborhood south of Minneapolis, now face criminal charges.)
Budget Cuts Loom for Education. How Vulnerable Are Your Local Schools?
COVID-19's economic fallout is sure to take a toll on districts, but impacts may vary widely
(EWA Radio: Episode 238)
With the nation facing a pandemic-driven recession unlike any in generations, public schools are bracing for a big financial hit. Reporter Daarel Burnette II of Education Week shares insights from his school finance coverage during the crisis and a new database that gauges the economic vulnerability of districts from coast to coast.
Keeping Up With Brain Science Is a Tall Order for Many Teachers
Teacher training often fails to reflect current research, experts say
When teacher Eric Kalenze introduced a new book or reading passage to his students, he used to allow them to explore it on their own, following an approach he learned in teacher training.
Now, armed with a better understanding of the science of learning, he believes leading with this type of student inquiry is ineffective. Instead, he front-loads crucial context and factual information he thinks students will need to understand the text.
Elevating Your Reporting With Data: The Dos and Don’ts
How to marry basic reporting with a data set — and tips to read it correctly
You don’t need data to write a great story. But adding data, if done well, can take your reporting from McDonald’s to Michelin-starred.
These tips will help you elevate the coverage you produce every year, such as stories on student performance; ensure you correctly translate what the data is saying; and remind you to stay skeptical.
Testing COVID-19’s Academic Impact on Students
Early assessments seen as key to gauging learning gaps, social-emotional needs
When schools reopen, expect to see a lot of testing.
Sure, COVID-19 testing may be prevalent for students and their teachers. But in addition, a first step for many schools will be diagnostic tests to gauge learning gaps after months away. Some experts also are calling for assessments of students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs as they start the new academic year.
It’s About Context, Not Time: What the Latest Research Says on Teens & Screens
Sexting is (gulp) normal and other findings to consider in news coverage
Yes, today’s teens are surrounded by screens. No, it’s not as bad for them as you might think.
That was the upshot of a discussion on screen time at a recent Education Writers Association seminar.
Stories about adolescents present the opportunity for a variety of compelling characters, from parents and teachers to the teens themselves who feel passionately about the issues. But data can also be a powerful tool in crafting such narratives, as it provides vital context for the audience.