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Friday, June 07, 2013

Fair and balanced

As I scanned the news coverage and stakeholder reactions to President Obama's ConnectED speech, I decided to focus in on the most important issue: is the "R" in "E-Rate" capitalized?  I've already noted that the White House and the Washington Post used a capital "R" in "E-Rate," while the NY Times used a small "r."  How are others spelling it in their discussion of the speech?
  • Commissioner Clyburn: E-Rate.  Since she's the acting chairwoman, does that make "E-Rate" the acting official spelling?
  • Commissioner Rosenworcel: E-Rate. Two for two.
  • Congressman Ed Markey: E-Rate.
  • CoSN: E-Rate.  (Egregious understatement alert: Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO, says we can pay for the program by "adding just a few pennies per month to our phone bills."  The administration is saying 40 pennies per month.  Sorry, 40 is more than "a few."  It's more than several fews.)
  • ISTE: E-Rate.  And hurray for ISTE's CEO: "“We would be remiss, though, if we did not call upon the President to go a step further and urge a substantial increase in E-Rate's annual funding cap."
  • eSchoolNews: eRate. I've already complained about this.  Henceforth, this blog will refer to that magazine as "E-School-News" (unless I forget).
  • Education Week: E-rate. (Though they correctly repeated Clyburn's use of "E-Rate" in two quotes from her statement.)
  • Bloomberg: E-rate.  What do you expect from a company that doesn't know the difference between "customer" and "news source"?
  • UPI: E-Rate.
  • Reuters: E-Rate.
  • Christian Science Monitor: E-Rate.  That's right, "E-Rate" is real, and "E-rate" is just an illusion.
  • Wall Street Journal: E-Rate.
  • LA Times: No mention of the E-Rate.  Boo!  And check out the headline: "Obama pledges more Web access to slightly distracted middle-schoolers."  How is a headline not capitalized?  Also, it makes it sound like the discount matrix is no longer going to be based on percentage of students who are low-income, but on the percentage of students who are slightly distracted.
  • The Hill: E-Rate
  • Politico: E-Rate.
  • ABC News: E-Rate.
  • CBS News: E-Rate.
  • NBC News: E-Rate
  • Fox News:  Nothing.  No mention of Obama even being in Mooresville.  The local Mooresville Fox affiliate covered the speech, and used E-Rate.
  • PBS: they spelled it both ways: of four uses in the story, two used "R," two "r."  I understand that news outlets seem to feel that fair and balanced reporting requires that they give both sides of an issue, even if one side is factually wrong, but this is taking it too far.
It looks like the big "R" is gaining steam.

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