Preschool for all : how sourcing shaped news framing of universal pre-k rollout in New York city
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As niche publications fill the void left by a shrinking legacy media, this comparative case study asks how the sourcing practices of journalists at the education news nonprofit Chalkbeat New York influenced news framing of early childhood education. Chalkbeat's coverage of universal pre-K rollout in New York City was compared to The New York Times and WNYC. A qualitative content analysis of 178 articles published between January 1 and December 31, 2014, found that journalists at all three news organizations quoted government sources most often. But Chalkbeat and WNYC also brought education officials into the conversation, something reporters at The New York Times did only occasionally. This might be because universal pre-K is framed as a political issue in The Times. As the Every Student Succeeds Act replaces the deeply unpopular mandates of No Child Left Behind, this comparative case study points to the need for education reporters who are subject matter experts capable of translating jargon and policy for their audience.
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