PBS NewsHour Issues On-Air Apology Over Success Academy Segment

Click to the 5:55 mark of last night’s PBS NewsHour education segment (above) and you’ll see something that you don’t see very often: an on-air apology from the show for not having given one of its main sources (Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz) the chance to respond to specific allegations made against her by a student and a parent the previous week.

There’s no transcript of the on-air remarks (and the show stands by the rest of the report), but the show released a statement last night (which I first saw via Dropout Nation’s RiShawn Biddle):

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“While the NewsHour regrets the decision to include that particular mother and child without providing Ms. Moskowitz with an opportunity to respond, the NewsHour stands by the report.”

As I wrote a couple of days ago, the emails posted between Merrow and Moskowitz seem to provide reassurance that she would be able to respond, and Moskowitz might not have been wise in allowing Merrow to do the story given the likelihood that it would come out critical. She is very fortunate that PBS went along with at least part of her request for a clarification. It’s not very many news outlets that would issue this kind of clarification for something that was not a matter of factual accuracy.

Related posts: Some Questions For John Merrow, PBS, & Eva MoskowitzAll Hail Merrow (One More Time).

Alexander Russo is founder and editor of The Grade, an award-winning effort to help improve media coverage of education issues. He's also a Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship winner and a book author. You can reach him at @alexanderrusso.

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