Thursday, April 02, 2009

News Sentinel’s Coverage of Schools Budget Forum

Wednesday evening Superintendent Dr. James McIntyre held a budget public forum at Fulton High School. WATE and WVLT Volunteer TV filed reports from the meeting and they reported that the citizens were unhappy with the change of bell times and with the reductions to Career and Technical Education and staffing position the television stations even had the School Board Chair on camera saying that she was not supportive of the bell changes.

When the Thursday News Sentinel hit the stand there was a short story that did not reflect the sentiment from the meeting. News Sentinel Reporter Lola Alapo interviewed nearly every citizen that spoke but of those one on one interviews only one made it into the article in the paper.

The article was so small and insignificant that it did not make it onto the News Sentinel’s website. By the article not being on the website meant that the public was not allowed to comment on the story and to react online to the lackluster coverage provided by the paper. So, unless you had a newspaper you had no idea that there was a News Sentinel reporter present and if you had a newspaper you easily could have passed over the article as it so small and insignificant.

Only three school board members (Bill Phillips, Indya Kincannon and Rex Stooksbury) attended the forum. The Superintendent’s recommendation will ultimately become the board’s approved budget. So, six board members don’t even care what the public thinks about the budget? If they rely on what the News Sentinel reporter published about the budget, they don’t have an adequate representation of the public’s opinion.

So, the question that several attendees of the forum had was. Is the reporter on the payroll of the Sentinel or the Schools or both?


Catht said...

The link to the article in the online KnoxNews:

The place I like to see 'School Matters' discussed:

Brian Hornback said...


The link to the article was not put on the website until we published this post.

I have no problem with school matters. I participate there also. However, this article should be discussed in both venues, as most people do not venture to two websites to discuss the same one item.