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Journalism Profile, Richard Colvin

Journalism Profile, Richard Colvin
Richard Colvin
Richard Lee Colvin has spent most of his 30-year career as a journalist specializing in covering education. He covered national education issues for the Los Angeles Times for nine years before coming to the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media in 2002. He became the director of the Institute the following year.
 
Colvin doesn’t feel that the education beat has been limiting. On the contrary, one of the main reasons Colvin says he has focused on education for more than two decades is because it is so “multifaceted,” touching on cognition, teaching, social change, politics, money and every level of government from community boards all the way to Washington, D.C.
 
Which is why Colvin believes the public should care about the subject too.
 
For the fiscally minded, he points out that education is a huge sector of the economy.
 
“From a basic civics point of view, local, state and national spending on K through 12 public schooling is $500 billion a year,” says Colvin. “We’re talking huge sums of money. People ought to know what they’re getting for their money.”
 
And for the community-minded, “Education is really the way a society transmits its values, beliefs and technical knowledge from one generation to the next,” he says. “Education is critical to a functioning democracy, therefore it’s important for citizens to understand what’s working and what’s not.”
 
Colvin will find out whether the public agrees when he launches a multifaceted news Web site—part of a broader effort to reposition Hechinger as a broker of high-quality journalism about education. Initially, the Institute will support, encourage and supply coverage of teacher compensation and effectiveness, academic standards, college completion, high school dropouts and other issues.
 
With all of his years of reporting experience, Colvin is familiar with the challenges he and his team will face: the changing technologies of communications, establishing its reputation in this new area and writing about education policy in a way that holds the interest and serves the information needs of an influential educational audience. But, despite the challenges the news media are facing, Colvin, characteristically, sees the enormous possibility:
 
“Our goal is to take all of these fabulous new tools and use them to further education as well as contribute to the future health of the journalistic enterprise.”

Published Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

Journalism Profile, Richard Colvin

Richard Colvin
Richard Lee Colvin has spent most of his 30-year career as a journalist specializing in covering education. He covered national education issues for the Los Angeles Times for nine years before coming to the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media in 2002. He became the director of the Institute the following year.
 
Colvin doesn’t feel that the education beat has been limiting. On the contrary, one of the main reasons Colvin says he has focused on education for more than two decades is because it is so “multifaceted,” touching on cognition, teaching, social change, politics, money and every level of government from community boards all the way to Washington, D.C.
 
Which is why Colvin believes the public should care about the subject too.
 
For the fiscally minded, he points out that education is a huge sector of the economy.
 
“From a basic civics point of view, local, state and national spending on K through 12 public schooling is $500 billion a year,” says Colvin. “We’re talking huge sums of money. People ought to know what they’re getting for their money.”
 
And for the community-minded, “Education is really the way a society transmits its values, beliefs and technical knowledge from one generation to the next,” he says. “Education is critical to a functioning democracy, therefore it’s important for citizens to understand what’s working and what’s not.”
 
Colvin will find out whether the public agrees when he launches a multifaceted news Web site—part of a broader effort to reposition Hechinger as a broker of high-quality journalism about education. Initially, the Institute will support, encourage and supply coverage of teacher compensation and effectiveness, academic standards, college completion, high school dropouts and other issues.
 
With all of his years of reporting experience, Colvin is familiar with the challenges he and his team will face: the changing technologies of communications, establishing its reputation in this new area and writing about education policy in a way that holds the interest and serves the information needs of an influential educational audience. But, despite the challenges the news media are facing, Colvin, characteristically, sees the enormous possibility:
 
“Our goal is to take all of these fabulous new tools and use them to further education as well as contribute to the future health of the journalistic enterprise.”
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