The MRT's "Religion in Schools" articles this weekend were quite revealing: revealing as much about the paper as about the school's discussed.
On Saturday, we had a story on Midland Christian School. More of an unpaid advertisement than an article, actually. Then on Sunday, two articles, one on Trinity School and one on Midland Classical Academy for which there is apparently not a link on the website. Both schools were discussed reasonably thoroughly, but not in as much detail as the MCS article. Is the author of these articles a parent of an MCS student? That was the impression I got.
If you are going to cover religious schools in Midland, why would you leave out the fourth after covering the other three? Where is the story on St. Ann's? This school has been in business educating Midland's kids since 1950. Why leave it out? Is this a continuing reflection of an anti-Catholic bias in the city or just among the staff of the paper?
Approximately 20% of the population of Midland is Catholic. A large number of Midland Catholics send their kids to St. Ann's, but a significant number of non-Catholic families elect to educate their children at St. Ann's as well. Why would that be true in light of the other choices available? Could it be that the education at St. Ann's is more than competitive with the other schools and yet is unique in its own way? Is this not worthy of a story, too?
In a large city, a newspaper could be excused for randomly selecting 3 private, religious schools out of many for coverage as the MRT did this weekend. In a small city with 4 religious schools, all having been in business for a long time, it is a reflection of bias to cover 3 and leave out the 4th school.