February 11, 2021

Video Panel: NY Times, Washington Post Journalists Discuss Reporting On Higher Education

Video Panel: NY Times, Washington Post Journalists Discuss Reporting On Higher Education

Yesterday, I was lucky to moderate a panel, hosted by the University of San Diego, on the subject “How Advocates Can Work with the Media to Effect Change and Protect Postsecondary Students.”  

The panel included two journalists, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel of the Washington Post and Erica Green of the New York Times, plus two communications officials, Sam Gilford of Student Defense and Kate Manning Kennedy of the Harvard Law School’s Project on Predatory Student Lending.

You can watch the video here.

The discussion comes as the new Biden administration has pledged to hold accountable those predatory for-profit and career colleges that for decades have deceived and ripped off students, while receiving billions in taxpayer dollars. The Trump administration, especially the Department of Education under Betsy DeVos, went in a different direction, cancelling most of the accountability measures established under President Obama. But many state attorneys general continued to take action against bad-acting schools. For-profit colleges themselves have spent heavily on lobbying and lawyers and public relations to defend their position. And there are a wide range of advocacy organizations — student, veterans, civil rights, consumer groups — active on these issues.

The debate has been heated for more than a decade — because there is a lot of money at stake, and a lot of students’ futures at stake. So of course one way that advocates want to make their case is through the media, which has produced some outstanding exposes on these issues. So that’s what we discussed on the panel, thanks to our hosts from the University of San Diego School of Law’s Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI), Center for Public Interest Law, and Veterans Legal Clinic.