Betsy DeVos Coverage Analysis
It’s no secret that when looking for an unbiased news source, many Americans find it nearly impossible. Every article is written with an agenda and every word is crafted to sway reader’s perspective one way or the other. It almost seems as though the only way to get a well-rounded perspective is to read two different articles on the same issue from two opposing news sources… so I guess that’s what I’m going to have to do.
An issue I’ve been hearing a lot about is the controversy over Betsy DeVos’s admission into Donald Trump’s cabinet as head of the Education Department. My more liberal friends are enraged and my more conservative parents don’t seem to care one way or the other; so I decided to check it out for myself.
After sifting through some articles, I came across one very liberally supportive piece on the issue written by The Huffington Post. The article, titled “Teachers And Politicians Mount Final Push To Keep Betsy DeVos Away From Public Schools” focuses on the negatives of Trump’s choice. It reports a 24-hour debate in Senate as the Democrats speak out against DeVos and the millions of Americans pleading with their Republican senators to fight against her. It says many teachers even wore black the day before the final vote in protest. The source reprimands her for her “lack of qualifications and commitment to public education.” It encourages many to stand up against her policies and showcases the various efforts being made on social media, amongst teachers’ unions, and within the families of students attending public school to bring awareness to DeVos’s plots against educational freedom. Many are scared of her deficit of knowledge, having never worked in a public school system and desire to use taxpayer money to fund private schools. The article presents her as unqualified and undeserving of her position and leaves readers wondering why she was even selected, with a lot of blame being put on Trump for his lack of research and care.
While the article touches briefly on what she believes in as far as helping “every student succeed”, it focuses mainly on DeVos’s possible negative effects for the country and does not show leaders much, if any of the good that could come from her leadership.
On the conservative side, I selected an article by the New York Post, entitled “The war on Betsy DeVos is all about the teachers unions”. It is much shorter than the Huffington Post article, and much less advertised on the homepage, meaning it isn’t being presented as pressing of an issue as on the liberal sites. This article shows her as more of a victim of political scrutiny than someone trying to tear down the American education systems. It focuses on her views on the teachers’ unions, praising her for wanting to disband them. They say that this is good and promotes choice amongst students and their parents. The article avoids talking about the views of the opposing sides and concludes the brief article by thanking her and Donald Trump for their commitment to “fighting the power”.
This piece is more informative on her views but doesn’t leave room for counterpoints or credit to what might happen that could negatively affect the way students like me learn and have access to schooling.
After reading and analyzing these two sources and their takes on the Betsy DeVos controversy, I have to say, I still feel uninformed. I feel like I know the extreme beliefs of both sides, but I don’t know many facts. I believe that that is what the public is missing when it consumes news media: the facts… and not facts that are guesses on what “will” happen if a circumstance occurs, not projections and graphs and forecasts; just unbiased, well-researched facts. I’m not saying that this is possible. In fact, I would argue that unbiased news is not achievable in the real world because news is delivered by people, sought by people, and sponsored by people with biased opinions. So because we live in a world where the news we hear holds an agenda, it is the responsibility of the consumer to seek multiple sources to gain a well-rounded perspective on the issues we face so that we might form our own opinions and argue our own points when we are questioned. We must read what we disagree with, listen to those who believe differently than us, and speak with those who want to know what we believe so that we can truly be an informed society.
The Huffington Post Article
The New York Post Article