Why The Media Is Giving Gallaudet So Much Coverage? Convenience.

It's not just that the controversy at Galluadet isn't really a K-12 issue that has kept me from wanting to write much about it. Rather, it's the seemingly inexhaustible, wall-to-wall coverage from the mainstream media-- little of it very insightful -- that's made me hesitate.

I'm not the only one to note that the coverage has been nothing short of spectacular, given the circumstances. "First, and most amazingly to me, the internal events at a small educational institution for the deaf have become a major media event," states a commentary by Lennard Davis in today's Inside Higher Ed (The Real Issues At Gallaudet).

In the piece, Davis argues that deafness and disability, once marginalized, have become central issues in American life. "The events at Gallaudet were momentous not just because a little university had an internal disagreement but because the issues raised around identity resonated with the general public."

I wish that were true, but I think the instead the coverage probably comes from journalistic convenience -- the search for a story that's visceral, seems to have clear winners and losers, and -- best of all -- takes place near everyone's downtown DC offices. It's too bad, since there are other, arguably more far-reaching and substantial stories that are being largely ignored by the mainstream media, like Reading First.


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