Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Joplin Globe misses the point with R-8 Board meeting coverage

You certainly cannot argue with the placement of the Joplin R-8 Board of Education coverage in today's Joplin Globe print edition.

The article was planted firmly in the upper right hand corner of page one, the place studies show is the destination the eye first settles on when it looks at a newspaper.

The placement was right, but continuing the practice the Globe has followed with its coverage the past few years of both the Joplin R-8 School District and the City of Joplin, the newspaper missed the story.

Certainly, the decision to proceed with the early childhood center was an important story, but to those who attended the meeting in person or followed Jet HD's coverage on YouTube, the district website, or the Turner Report, the big news that came out of Tuesday night's meeting was Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder's assessment of the district following his first week on the job.

Ridder described the system as "sick," said it would take more work to get it into shape than he had anticipated, and talked about a district that needed to take a focused approach and instead of heading in all different directions.

"Everybody's working hard, but not smart," Ridder said.

It was a firm indictment of the mess Ridder's predecessor C. J. Huff  made of the district, both with his concentration on Bright Futures and gimmicks to increase the graduation rate and his inexplicable decision to surround himself with people who were not qualified to hold the positions they were holding.

Ridder said he would be talking with teachers, students, and taxpayers and coming to the board with a one-page, focused strategic plan.

This is what the Joplin Globe said about Ridder's statement:

Interim Superintendent Norm Ridder, in his first Joplin board meeting, said he has been studying the board and the school district since his arrival on July 20, and he will report back with his analysis and findings by October 1. He said that after the first of the year, perhaps by March, he will present a one-page strategic plan for the district that will be "really focused."

No mention of any of Ridder's on-the-money comments about the disarray that he has inherited.

And who can blame the Globe for not reporting on it? The area's newspaper of record has not been reporting on any of the problems in the school district for years, why should it start now?

It has to be embarrassing for Globe reporters to have to leave out important parts of the story because they do not fit in with the narrative the newspaper has been feeding its readers.

From everything I am hearing, R-8 teachers were ecstatic to hear Ridder say that he thinks the same things they have been thinking, but dared not say, for the past few years.

No, a functioning board, which finally got rid of the poison that had infected this district for the past seven years, is not the story the Globe has been pushing. A board that is discussing issues and making decisions in a professional manner without the prima donna antics of C. J. Huff, does not fit in with the Globe's warped version of reality.

It makes it hard to offer solid coverage, when the truth is at odds with the story the Globe has been selling this community ever since the tornado.

The newspaper faces a crisis sometime in the next few weeks when the Missouri State Auditor's office releases its report on the City of Joplin. How will the Globe be able to sell itself as a community watchdog when it had the story about Councilman Mike Woolston's property dealings in the tornado area and never printed a word?

I certainly would not want to be in the situation that faces Editor Carol Stark.

When the story of these times in Joplin is written, it will be a toss up on whether the biggest con artists were Wallace and Bajjali or the Joplin Globe.


Anonymous said...

I know, I saw both the Turner report and the Globe article this morning and was like, what the hell!!!???? Were they even in the same room???

It's hilarious, but not surprising of course.

Anonymous said...

What good would it do now?

Anonymous said...

Turner and others refer to the Globe as "The newspaper of record." This might be true, although arguably not as true as in the past. It seems that with a shrinking segment of the population laying eyes on this advertising business, it leaves one to wonder at what pont it ceases to qualify as a quasi legal document. That is to say that it has long been standard practice to publish certain legal announcements in the local paper, and that this constitutes legal public notice. In past decades this was readily acceptable. However, neither I nor most of the people I know would consider anything in the Globe to be notice of anything. I wonder if anyone has challenged this practice or how long it will be until someone does.

Anonymous said...

OMG the Globe is so desperate, they are mailing free papers with a plea to buy their crap, delivered, for just over $20 for three whole months.,.
LMAO as I toss this junk mail in the "archive" bin.

Ritter isn't Huff or Turner said...

Well, none of the lie-papers are in any good shape anymore. You were fired for cause before the turn of the century yourself, well before your "free swill" on the Internuts attracted sundry other rogue school teachers in mutual bed-wetting and mouth-breathing exhibitions took off like today.

So is Ritter the new guy opening up a mutual admiration society relationship with you like Anson Burlingame had with the Glob, CJ Huff, Markey-Mark Rohr, and the rest of the Joplin Commerceites? No? Why is that? Think that Ritter has his own notions of how to run a school district and that it certainly doesn't mean "letting teachers teach" whatever it is that they want to teach without school board or Ritter's supervision and control?

Just because Ritter replaced CJ Huff after a long and bitter struggle in which all of the players were wounded or taken out doesn't mean that you and the rest of the rogue teachers who want to run wild will get to do so.

I look forward to hearing you squeal when Ritter takes matters in hand as Ritter sees fit.

Anonymous said...

"Joplin Globeisses the point with R-8 Board meeting coverage"........ says the twice fired, bitter, desperate to turn a buck internet garbage

Anonymous said...

Hey, come you tolerate Martin's crap on your blog? Ugh.

Randy said...

You should see his comments that I don't publish.

Anonymous said...

Ahh sugar, you need a hug?

Anonymous said...

Time to turn the page Randy - CJ Huff is gone - it is time for the bitterness to stop and to concentrate on Dr. Ridder and what he can do for the district going forward!

Randy said...

Sorry, Anonymous 8:50, it is nowhere near time to turn the page. The poison that C. J. Huff brought into the Joplin R-8 School District is still there surrounding Norm Ridder. These are people who played significant roles in the troubles the district has had for the past few years. Ridder is surrounded by people who achieved their present positions, but despite lacking qualifications simply because they were willing to do anything that C. J. Huff or Angie Besendorfer asked them to do many times crossing ethical and legal boundaries. You still have a chief operations officer who is controlling what new teachers are hired despite having absolutely no background in education. Judging from statements that were made at Tuesday night's board meeting, it appears that some of Ridder's administrative team are already doing their best to cover up some of their mischief. We also have a bloated Bright Futures operation that has expanded far beyond its original purpose and we have the ever-present Joplin Progress Committee and the unelected "leaders" of this community, who want the status quo to stay the same. Putting Norm Ridder in as superintendent was a good move, but if that is the only change that is made, it will not be long before we have more problems.

Anonymous said...

Who's RiTTer?

Anonymous said...

When did the truth become garbage? Sounds like you need a hug too.

Anonymous said...

What Huff and company has done isn't about "rogue teachers". It's about building a culture of fear and intimidation. It's about destroying people's lives.
The things they have done haven't been about educating our children. It's been nothing more than a power trip sponsored by a bully and his toadies.
Real teachers want to help kids learn and be the best they can be. This group wants power and accolades.