Journalism reform

President Bush has announced a new education initiative, No Reporter Left Behind, to help journalists learn reading, listening, logic, science and math skills, announces Rand Simberg. Satirically.

Education Secretary Rod Paige offered federal grants covering up to 10 percent of the annual budget of journalism schools, if they use the government’s curriculum.

“In addition,we are going to set up a mentoring program with local bloggers, so that these aspiring reporters can learn how to do research and fact check.”

“The second prong of our proposal is to provide grants to media organizations as well. Like the grants for the journalism schools, this will be a ten percent solution, through which, in exchange for providing them with a trifling amount of money, we will dictate reporting standards from Washington. Some of this funding will be earmarked to provide adequate dosages of Ritalin in the water systems, to help the journalists stay focused on the actual justifications for the war, and minimize distractions by red herrings.”

. . . In response to a question from the audience as to why a media organization or journalism school would be willing to sacrifice its autonomy for a small amount of its operating budget, he replied, “It’s a mystery, but it seems to work quite well for the public school system, and many of these people are products of that system, so we expect to quickly get most of them on board.”

About Joanne


  1. Teach them, Joanne. Are you listening, Dubya? Appoint her immediately! /satire

    In real life, I distrust govsolutions, so I think it’s time for the public to leave most reporters behind. It costs nothing to be a media skeptic.

  2. Ken Two says:

    This is very funny satire but my story is from real life. Speaking at a writer’ conference an editor from a California regional daily fielded a question on an audience member’s opinion that business reporting in daily newspapers was shallow.

    He responded that his business section didn’t fit that description and that he had an upcoming four part feature on “healthcare” which would really dig into the “crisis” and “mess” in that industry.

    When asked if he thought his use of those two words brought into question his ability to judge the feature objectively he answered very directly “NO”, adding that the industry is in a mess and crisis.

    I think he needs some grant money and a dose of Rand, but his use of words generally reflect the crime blotter mentality of news people.

  3. I loved this!

    Also – check out the link below to see what the journalists think of the bloggers…

    No, there’s no bias in the media!!! 😉,9171,1101040621-650732-1,00.html

  4. mike from oregon says:

    They need to make attendance a mandatory stipulation too. They had a “news conference” the other day, sponsered by a couple congressmen, including Joe Liberman. The conference was to show films from the old Saddam era. It showed beheadings, it showed people having their tongues cut out, it showed plenty of beatings, real nasty, cruel beatings. They had fewer than 10 reporters show up. Talk about reporting only what you want to report on.

  5. Richard Brandshaft says:

    From the “No Reporter Left Behind” link:

    “Even after a great number of speeches and explanations, many reporters still don’t seem to understand why we are at war, or are able to even comprehend the fact that we ARE at war.”

    I’m waiting for the no-President-left-behind essay. It would explain how Presidents need to be educated about how wars cost money, money comes from taxes, and all that stuff. They need to be educated about the hazards of fighting a war without going all out.

    I’m waiting, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Ken Two,
    Are you saying health care policy ISN’T a mess in crisis?

  6. Ken Two says:


    I’m suggesting that the words crisis and mess are baggage and give clues to a writer or editor’s frame of mind on an issue.

    If you want a sense of an approach to presenting the issue more soberly read “Reducing Uninsurance by Reforming Health Insurance in the Small-Business Sector” by Stuart M. Butler, Ph.D. from The Heritage Foundation at

  7. Fred Jenson says:


    MONEY COMES FROM TAXES!!!!! Christ, I thought I had to go to work to earn money………. I think Bush has a far better conception of where money comes from than you do.