Sadly, I’m not the slightest bit surprised to learn of a higher education reporter serving the interests of those they are covering instead of those who they are writing for.
Daniel de Vise, a reporter for the Washington Post (which relies on Kaplan for revenue), allowed University of Texas at Austin public relations officials to provide critical rewrites of draft versions of his “investigative” story about standardized college exit tests that are sweeping America.
What de Vise didn’t count on is Texas’ strong independent press conducting its own investigation into his “investigative” “reporting”.
The Texas Observer is just one of the state’s independent non-profit journalism outlets and used freedom of information legislation to obtain emails between UT and de Vise that reveal unethical practices by de Vise.
Non-profit independent media is going to restore public confidence in journalism. While the short-term effect of this story will be a continuing decrease in public trust, it’s long term impact will be purging unethical practices from for-profit journalism. It’s the purging of those practices and the return of accountability media criticism that will improve journalism and make us as a whole trade worthy of public trust once again.