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Newspaper coverage of education

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 18 November 2015

The following letter was submitted to The Australian for possible inclusion in the edition of Monday 9 November 2015 but, alas, it was not selected for publication.

Covering education

It is pleasing to note that The Australian's national education correspondent, Natasha Bita, has been given an award by the NSW Professional Teachers' Council for positive portrayal of the teaching profession ("Teachers salute reporting", Nov 7-8). Not too long ago such an event would have been inconceivable.

It goes without saying that responsible journalism, as distinct from public relations, needs to present negatives as well as positives. However, in the past, quite a few people who work in education have formed the perception that the paper routinely misrepresented what was happening in the nation's schools. No doubt the paper would argue that this perception is wrong, but it has been strong enough for otherwise fair-minded professionals to refuse to buy The Australian as a matter of principle.

Often when I wish to mention an article about education from this paper to colleagues I need to provide a copy, because they have long since stopped reading it. Hopefully we can look forward to ongoing fair and balanced coverage of education.

Garry Collins
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English

Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past PresidentAuthor:Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
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