ARTICLE: Teachers avoid journalists due to negative coverage

Untitled by Juraj Varga, licence CC0 1.0

Including teachers’ voices in news about education would be beneficial, yet Australian teachers are reluctant to give interviews, Kathryn Shine, of Curtin University, writes. Shine interviewed 25 teachers and principals from around Australia, asking about their attitudes towards journalists and news on education.

Almost all interviewees saw news on education as being overly negative and biased against teachers. While the educators did recognize the need to cover problems in education, they feel that journalists neglect to mention any positive aspects of the Australian educational system. National media is seen as especially hostile, the author discovered, as opposed to more amicable local media.

As a result, roughly one-third of Shine’s interviewees thought that “teachers should not speak to journalists”. Another one-third believed that interviews should only be given by educators, who have been trained to handle journalists.

Education is an important area to cover for journalists and alienating teachers will only do harm to that coverage, Shine argues. Winning educators over might require journalists to learn more about the educational system – a task that might be undertaken by journalism schools, the author suggests.

The article “‘Everything is negative'” was published by the journal Journalism. It is available online on the publisher’s website (abstract free).

Picture: Untitled by Juraj Varga, licence CC0 1.0.

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