Accuracy in Media

In a new piece this week, Teen Vogue presents something that is common practice as nefarious to support the magazine’s own political ideals.

The complaint addressed in the article is from a University of Florida student worried about Ben Sasse likely becoming the next president of UF. We can imagine that to a young student journalist – all three, the young, students, and journalists — as being more left-leaning than the general population – the idea of a sitting Republican Senator being chosen to lead their college could be worrying.

However, the more specific complaint is over how the process of choosing that president has been run. Particularly Republican Gov. Ron “DeSantis set this chain of events in motion, signing a law earlier this year that keeps certain aspects of public colleges’ presidential searches secret until the end of the process. That secrecy makes it easier for institutions to play politics with these powerful roles and to grant positions to ideological allies.”

UF is a public university, so it’s run by the political system. This means that politics is going to be involved in running UF – that’s just what happens to public institutions, they’re run by politics. It’s even rather the point of having public institutions, that they’re not run by the dictates of capitalist decision-making, isn’t it?

But about that secrecy. It’s what is called a “closed search”, where the early stages of the selection process are run in private.  The implication is that there’s something odd in this. And yet in other reporting on the process, we get: “About three-fifths of private colleges have closed searches, compared to roughly one-quarter of public colleges,” So, this is pretty normal then. Oh, also “The proposal required the approval of at least two-thirds of each of the two legislative chambers to pass,” so, you know, that politics seems pretty keen on this change. That politics is the very reason for having a public institution in the first place.

Teen Vogue, as above, claims that its mission is to educate the influencers of tomorrow. It’s just inside the top 500 of US news and media outlets and gains some 5.1 million visits a month from that position. As we’d expect the readership trends young and female.

Clearly, both the writer and Teen Vogue don’t like the idea of Sasse being chosen in one of these “closed searches.”. But they’ve chosen to claim that this process is something unusual, which it isn’t. That’s really not the way to educate now, is it? Why, it’s even mis- or dis-information.




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