There seems to be a fair degree of sentiment that New York City is an epicenter of the current financial situation. But, New York’s dubious impacts on Kentuckians may stretch well beyond our wallets. Now, New Yorkers may be gaining undue control over the local news you are getting.
On September 26, 2008 I blogged about the Lexington Herald-Leader’s firing of both education reporters. That firing puts a great demand on remaining news sources to keep us informed.
Yesterday, however, I had a chance to talk to a Frankfort-based reporter for one of the major news services. I asked about that service’s recent obvious reduction in education coverage. The reply I got gave me considerable pause.
The news service controls its Frankfort bureau from locations outside Kentucky, most particularly New York. If out-of-state editors don’t have an interest, it doesn’t get coverage.
And, those out of state editors apparently are not interested in the serious issues confronting Kentucky education.
Thus, a major education news source often cited in many local papers in Kentucky has just about dried up. Added to the total failure of the Kentucky Post last year and the stripping out of both experienced education reporters at the Herald-Leader, it looks like bloggers are going to have to take up some (though we certainly can’t handle all) of the education reporting slack. And, with major issues such as funding, the troubled CATS assessment and Kentucky’s generally uninspiring progress on education sure to come up in the next legislative session, this lack of coverage is going to make it that much harder for all of us to stay informed. It will even make it harder for our elected leaders to get the word out about the things they are doing.
In the early days of this country, almost all were poor. But, newspapers thrived and the news was a hot topic. Informed citizens helped make this country what it became over the next two hundred years. If the citizens lose that ability to be “in the loop,” a crisis much larger than a considerable hit on your wallet – namely your very freedom as an American – may not be far off. And, the epicenter of that problem, once again, might be found along the northeastern coast of the United States.