KUOW Prescribes Chill Pill for Story Backlash
Well here is a testiment to how much KUOW heard from certain folks about the story done by Phyllis Fletcher about Rose and some of her experiences in APP:
Thanks for your comments on Phyllis Fletcher’s story on the APP student at Lowell Elementary. It’s generated a lot of response, both positive and negative, and we appreciate your feedback.
KUOW stands by the story and commends Phyllis for producing it. Her story supports our mission to produce programming that meets the highest standards of journalism.
KUOW has given a lot of coverage to school closures over the last few months. We’ve talked to administrators, board members, teachers and parents. We issue regular requests for listeners to call in and discuss their schools.
Phyllis’ stories this week on the closure plans focused mainly on students – the ones most affected by the decision. In the case of Rose at Lowell, the aim was to hear about her experience and thoughts on what would happen if the APP program splits.
Neither Rose nor her mother accused the school staff of allowing or condoning the other students’ remarks. For that reason, it was not necessary to have the principal or anyone else defend Lowell’s program.
Phyllis offers these thoughts on her story:
“My bosses, colleagues, and I have received many thoughtful responses from those who identify themselves as members of the Lowell PTA. Several of them state unequivocally that the ‘official Lowell PTA response’ to Rose’s story does not reflect their position.
“I’m an alumna of APP (then called IPP). I’m very familiar with its fantastic qualities, and how it can change a child’s life for the better. I am also aware of some of the program’s problems. I hope listeners appreciated Rose’s excitement for the program, which she conveyed with both adult and child-like language.
“Rose did not use the word ‘racist’ at any point in our conversation and I did not use that word in my story. I believe her situation, and our human condition, is more complex than ‘is that racist/is that not racist.'”
Phyllis was not assigned to address the all of the complexities of Lowell’s APP in her story. However, she did an excellent job of portraying one aspect of the Lowell program as it relates to the school board’s decision.
We’ll continue to follow the results of the school changes and closures. If you have any information to help our coverage, please contact me.
KUOW News Director