doug — off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Delayed coverage

We have been aware that there might be a work stoppage by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation today for about a week. The Federation had given notice that, unless an agreement was in place by midnight last night, that there would be action taken today.

Locally, the Public School board indicated that it was going to make a decision on opening/closing by 9pm last night. When I went to bed last night, sometime after 9pm, there was no indication. It applied to us because the school district had indicated that it would close elementary schools as some of the education workers there are members of OSSTF. That would have put us in the position of care givers today.

When I woke this morning, I did what I thought would have been a good move and checked with the local newspaper. There was nothing. I went online to the local television station. Again, nothing. It was only when I went to Blackburn News that I got the story.

When my wife came down to check her morning news reads, she went through the same process in her news feed and then asked me “Are the schools open”? We then shared some thoughts back and forth.

That was from the traditional news form of things. Of course, the information was easily available from District 9 on Facebook and the school district website.

Later this morning, the news did trickle to the traditional news sources. But it’s certainly no longer the top story, falling behind the Prime Minister’s and others. I sit and wonder though …

  • is news not considered a 24/7 thing?
  • was it a foregone conclusion and therefore not worthy enough to cover?
  • is it just not a news story?
  • did they not want to make a mistake and get the wrath of the community if they got it wrong?

I’m sure that there’s a great deal of media literacy that can be wrestled out from this.

How were things reported on and how timely were things in your neck of the woods?


6 responses to “Delayed coverage”

  1. I find this so interesting, as I automatically went to check the Board Twitter feed, which indicated that secondary schools were closed. In our Board, elementary remained open, but with secretaries out (our admin took on one more role yesterday) as well as some support staff (psych services, speech and language, ESL). I never even considered checking the local news. Is it just that social media is the quickest way to get things these days? Now you have me wondering what others checked first.



  2. Social Media is definitely the first choice for me provided I can rely on the resource. My concern for this entire post was the delay in coverage by the major news sources. It seems to me that this could be another confirmation that traditional news resources are falling behind the more agile Social Media sources.


  3. I agree! I just find it so interesting that I never even thought about checking out your major news sources. What does that say about me as a media consumer? Hmmm …



  4. Such an interesting observation and question!

    I’m going to toggle the context from the job action and how it affects news updates regarding schools over to the weather/snow days and how it affects news updates regarding schools. The weather that passed through Ontario this Sunday brought to light some advancements in the use of social media to communicate with parents and students.

    First, let me set the stage by reflecting back to when I was a kid. For the entirety of my time as an elementary and secondary school student, we received information about the status of our school bus from the local radio station. I would awake each school morning to the familiar sounds from the kitchen as my dad went about making our oatmeal and his coffee while listening to the local morning news. I can still recall the familiar voice of the radio announcer reading huge lists of bus numbers. Each bus had a number, and I remember lying in bed waiting to hear our particular number, Sydenham Township Bus #1. It is glorious the days when there was no massive list but rather the simple announcement that all buses had been canceled.

    Moving forward to my early years as a teacher, the radio still reigned as the media source of record on the morning of school, but advance warning also arrived in the form of the “red warning screen” on the cable weather channel. Over time, the weather alerts were extended to include live map updates from the Ministry of Transportation showing the status of road openings and closures. For a while, that became a valuable predictor of the announcements to arrive the on the following morning.

    Once the Internet and access to the Internet became commonplace, the local busing consortium took to maintaining lists of buses running/not running on their website. For a few years it was a common occurrence to attempt to load the website only to find that it was overloaded as every kid and his/her brother throughout the region kept hitting and refreshing the site trying to get the latest on-demand update on their particular bus.

    So it was this past Monday that my I was drawn to several very interesting social media announcements on Twitter relating to the status of schooling for kids with the effects of the winter storm bearing down.

    Locally, the tri-board busing consortium went with an easy to read graphic image. I also took notice of the interesting “will not be offered“ phrasing:

    Toronto DSB went for the eyeball grabs by making use of a very topical and ever-so-cute image of the Yoda baby from the new Disney+ Star Wars saga, the Mandalorian:

    My favourite however, came from this wonderful 30 second, anticipation-generating Tweet from Peel DSB. The person responsible for posting this at their end truly gets the drama associated with waiting to hear the results for your particular bus. Enjoy!


  5. […] Delayed coverage – doug — off the record […]


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