DISD Wants in the News Reporting Biz? That's Like Letting Us Look After Your Kids.

Categories: Buzz

propaganda26.jpg
Government + education + news media. Why didn't anyone think of this before?
Dallas Independent School District has some important things to tell you, stuff that doesn't get reported in the regular old media, so the district is looking at getting into the news media business, Superintendent Mike Miles said this week. Or we guess he said it. The Dallas Morning News said he did, but they're ... ugh ... old, private media. Who knows?

DISD spokesman André Riley, that's who. Buzz called him up to welcome him to the fold -- we media folk are famously collegial -- and to see if there were any tips we could give him. He said the district has just begun exploring how to expand its news offerings beyond the usual dry press releases and wants to maybe do more reporting and offer more information than standard news outlets have time or space for.

The district is very early in the process, he stressed, sounding a bit like a man who was handed a short-handled shovel last week and woke up today to find his employer had announced he was going to dig a canal.

It's a safe bet he's going to be shoveling something, anyway. But we wish Riley, Miles and DISD well. Making the public schools more like the media sounds like a surefire way to raise respect for the district, because as everyone knows if there's anything the public loves more than the educational system, it's media. It's like combining peanut butter and chocolate! Who could not love it?

In fact, DISD is a natural for today's digital media world. They offer tons of sports, the occasional crime, serve a lot of food and regularly manage to piss off hordes of people. Sports, crime, food and anger compose about 65 percent of all media traffic these days. The remainder is divided among stories about health, cats, Kardashians and nonsensical statistics, which public education generates by the truckload. (Stats, we mean. Not Kardashians -- God forbid.) Add a few ironic listicles -- Top 10 Reasons Your Dumbass Kid Can't Read -- and slideshows of cheerleaders, and their pageviews will be the envy of every outlet in town.

We started to offer some of these tips to Riley, but he pointed out that web traffic is not an issue for DISD. "We generate a lot of news, but only a portion of it gets out," he said, and the goal is to broaden the scope of information that citizens might find useful.

We didn't have the heart to tell him: We all start out that way.


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21 comments
noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas

This is beyond a terrible idea, and borders on unethical.  No element of government should EVER be allowed to dictate what information is put out to the taxpayers and regulators.  Never!


The Founding Fathers consigned to the press (the media) the responsibility of being watchdogs over government, and that has worked well for over 200 years.  Taxpayers,  parents, and public officials  - along with the media - are entitled to the unvarnished truth about our schools, teachers, school budgets, and other pertinent issues concerning local education. 


PR people and legitimate Public Information officers are just fine.  But, beyond a news release or periodic newsletters, the school should NOT be putting out its own stories.


The Dallas School Board needs to defeat this proposal post haste.  It is antithetical and hostile to the purposes of a free flow of accurate information from the school to reporters to the public. 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

How bout opener ng up the DISD database of teachers v student achievement that those guys were putting together a few years ago?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Control the medium, control the message.

blevy6
blevy6

Mike Miles has the biggest set of tin ears I have ever been around. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Most schools my kids attended had a newsletter of some sort. They were of course full of positive news as one would expect, you can't expect them to take an adversarial position any more than you could expect MSNBC to cover the IRS hearings.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas

Apparently borrowing from the corrupt Obama White House, DISD wants to control its own news rather than risking actual reporters and photographers from the media to report the good, the bad, and the ugly. 


This control-freak approach to public relations is beyond insane; it will promote dishonesty.


I would suspect the audience for DISD self-reporting would be very limited, but perfect fodder for the professional media. 


If this is Miles' idea of a good idea, that explains why he's had so many bad ideas, and such limited success.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

portion of news that does not get out = not news

bbetzen
bbetzen

A central lesson for our students in this news reporting project should be that always sharing the truth gives you the most power and integrity in today's world.  Sadly I am not certain that critical lesson will be a central part of news reporting in DISD based on the history of reports by Mr. Miles to monthly board meetings for the past 2 years. Yes, he entertains with positive stories, but apparently never hands out any more detailed reports about student attendance, registration, performance on mandatory tests or on the relative numbers of students taking tests like the SAT/ACT.


Maybe this is why more information is not shared: http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2014/07/academic-loss-graduation-numbers.html



TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

Education Commissar Gates would approve, as long as the Central Committee of Truth approves all core content.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Why do you think it is that lefties always use the nazis, not Communists, to illustrate the Grand Repression of the State, when the former was a short-lived radical socialist movement of seventy years ago, and the latter still exists with its bootheel on the neck of the people after killing more than any modern ideology?

A little to close to home perhaps?

Havana is lovely this time of year.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Hofbrahaus und sauerkrauten, lederhosen!

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Because the German phraseology is more recognizable to 1/2 lingual Muricans.

noblefurrtexas
noblefurrtexas

@TheRuddSki Do I dare envision their dropping leaflets with news over school board districts? 


Of course, they could sell advertising on the drones, or have them pull message banners.

PatrickWilliams
PatrickWilliams moderator

@ozonelarryb Actually, in this case, it was simply much easier to find original propaganda art featuring children. I looked at the Soviet stuff I could find in a quick search, but didn't see many kids and a lot of it had been doctored up for new uses. Also, if I used that sort of art, my handlers at the FSB would put polonium in my beer.


TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@noblefurrtexas

Armed drones, being Dallas.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

"soviet propaganda schoolchildren" in Google produced a wide selection, regardless, in the grander scheme of things, my observations, while not unique, are quite correct.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Post someting in Cyrillic, and it looks like worm trails. At least German is of our family of languages.

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