So why does this blog exist?
As someone who's been lucky, driven and stubborn enough to keep writing about K-12 education within the province of Ontario, Canada, I'd grown increasingly motivated and frustrated by the state of K-12 education reporting in this province and this country as a whole.
I just don't get it. Everyone goes to school-- even those who dropout before finishing high school spend some time in school. People care about what happens in schools, when they know about it. Yet increasingly there's a dearth of education reporting that goes beyond the easy stuff like a budget cut or a school closure. Take conflict out of the canon of most education reporting and there's little to choose from-- little that explains, that delves into and analyses policy and politics in the manner we see in other topics such as health care and federal, provincial and municipal politics. As beat reporting becomes the exception to the rule outside of the largest newsrooms, education gets pushed aside.
As my own reporting duties grew, began to include municipal reporting and my workload and workflow changed, I found I was writing fewer such education articles myself for publication. Thus, this blog was created in the spring of 2009. In the spring of 2011 I moved it to blog.educationreporter.ca, so that it can continue to evolve into what I envisioned when I set it up: a comprehensive source for information and reporting on K-12 reporting in Canada, particularly Ontario. In 2012, it was expanded to include a Tumblr page, serving as an aggregator. What does that mean? It means you'll see posts here about media coverage and issues in K-12 education from around the province as it crosses my desk and as I have the time to write them. The Tumblr page's posts are simply aggregation-- meaning links to what I've been reading on K-12. That allows the blog to take the longer and the bigger-picture view and write about things happening provincially or explaining what might be happening in one corner of the province -- the kind of stuff that maybe only gets coverage in the larger newsrooms such as reporting on legislation, regulations, guidelines, policies, etc.
So who am I?
I am a reporter who until recently was working in a newsroom in southern Ontario. I have won a Canadian Community Newspaper Award for retelling the story of Winterbourne School, opened in the 19th century and closed in 2003. In addition, I have placed second in the U.S.-based National Education Writers' Association awards for "The ABCs of the EQAO," a five-part series on standardized testing. That series also earned finalist standing in the 2008 Ontario Newspaper Awards for special feature and online special feature.
During the 2010-11 academic year, I was the Gordon N. Fisher Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College / University of Toronto, where I was fortunate enough to audit several courses at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), as well as visit primary schools in Germany and Finland.
My journalism outside of education has also earned me several Canadian Association of Journalists award nominations for articles on agricultural and municipal topics, and my municipal reporting has earned a 2009 Ontario Newspaper Award and a nomination in 2010 in the relevant category. I was most recently recognized as the inaugural winner of the 2012 Ontario Newspapers Award for social media.
I'm currently the president of the Canadian Association of Journalists, where I've been a board member since 2005. I've also been on the board of governors for the National Newspaper Awards since 2006. Which means I'm conscious of what's going on beyond the walls of my own blog and this newsroom and the issues affecting my craft as it continues to evolve.
Aside from my journalism, I am also involved in teaching swimming, first aid and lifesaving as a lifeguard, instructor and trainer for the Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society. This includes an increasing level of involvement in the development of competitive lifesaving within Canada as a referee, judge and sport-commission member. I've also had a relationship with the YMCA for almost 15 years as a contract and part-time staff member. Which means I have a life outside of journalism, one that keeps me grounded and interacting with the same kind of people who go to school.
I receive no direct compensation for writing this blog or any particular post, etc. As a matter of practice, I rarely write posts for this space based directly on something that my employer had paid me to produce for its use. I do have a Google Ads account running on this site, and should you click on the ads displayed I do receive a small monetary amount for that. However Google runs this service and I have no control over what ads you might see displayed in this space.
If you have any questions about the above, please e-mail me. A recent resume is available here.