Can you guess the percent of evening cable news guests who are brought on camera to discuss education issues who are actually educators? Well, someone did the math and came up with this: Nine percent. Yes, 9 percent. And that was high if you looked at the results for single networks.
Media Matters, a progressive nonprofit, analyzed how many educators were included in substantial discussions of U.S. education policy on evening cable news shows between January 1, 2014 and October 31, 2014. They looked at shows on CNN, MSNBC and Fox, including The Situation Room, Erin Burnett OutFront, Crossfire, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN Tonight, The Ed Show, PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Hardball with Chris Matthews, All In with Chris Hayes, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, The Five, Special Report with Bret Baier, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, The O’Reilly Factor, The Kelly File, and Hannity.
Segments analyzed were those that had substantial education policy issues under discussion, including school reform, teacher tenure, the Common Core State Standards, school choice, early childhood education and guns in schools. Of the 185 total guests on the three networks, 16 were educators.
Given that educators have been largely left out of the debate about how to reform public education for many years, few will be surprised at these results.
Here’s the breakdown, from a Media Matters report:
On CNN, Educators Made Up 4 Percent Of Guests In Education Segments. CNN hosted 27 total guests in education segments. Twenty-six were non-educators, and only one was an educator, or 4 percent.
On Fox News, Educators Made Up 5 Percent Of Guests In Education Segments. Fox News hosted 81 total guests in education segments. Seventy-seven were non-educators, and only four were educators, or 5 percent.
On MSNBC, Educators Made Up 14 Percent Of Guests In Education Segments. MSNBC hosted 77 total guests in education segments. Sixty-six were non-educators, and only 11 were educators, or 14 percent.