Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dec. 9, 2010: A Doubleheader for The Moncton Times and Tribune.(1)

Today, the Moncton Times published a letter from Harry Doyle, chairman of the education committee for our school district.  It is a clear, well-reasoned, and well written letter explaining that his committee had for years made it clear to the ministers of education that major repair was top priority for Moncton High School.  This is the school that had to be closed some weeks ago as a matter of public safety.

The committee could, and did, recommend repairs on the school as a first priority. It did so year after year. But only the government could allot the money and the authority to do the job. And none of the governments did. At last, the superintendant ordered the closing of  the school as both a health and a safety risk.

Mr. Doyle's letter drew a response in the form of an editorial. And so it should have. The editorials of The Monctoon Times have been pouring victriolic, accusatory, demeaning, and simply wrong blame on teachers, administrators and the education committee for at least a year. Mr. Doyle's letter showed quite convincingly that The Moncton Times was not only wrong, but quite ignorant of who is responsible for making school repairs possible.  The editor had to respond to that letter: and should have responded with a shame-faced apology, and perhaps even a letter of resignation.

But, no. This is The Moncton Times and Transcript. There is no apology, simply a thanks to Mr. Doyle for "clearing the air". Even a bad newspaper would have apologized for its behaviour, its reporting and it editorials over the past year.

Even a bad newspaper would have taken the trouble to check procedures for financiing and prioritizing school repairs. A simple call to the ministry of education would do that. For that matter, on even a bad newspaper,  somebody on staff would have the brains to realize that a regional school committee would not have the power to order millions of dollars of construction all on its own.

Apparently, The Moncton Times cannot rank even as a good bad newspaper.

Why has the The Moncton Times and Transcript sone such a smear job on public education for the past year and more? That is almost certainly because its owners want it to. (I have never seen a newspaper editorial in any papterl that was critical of the newspaper's owndership; and  The Monncton Times is a kissup even by normal newspaper standards).

Why would the owners want a smear job on public education? Gee. I dunno. Could there be a connection with the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies?

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