A series of e-mails between reporter, Tania deLuzuriaga, and a senor Miami-Dade school official, Alberto Carvalho, suggest an affair between the two while deLuzuriaga covered Miami schools for the Miami Herald. deLuzuriaga has resigned from her job at the Boston Globe, where she moved last fall. And Carvalho’s selection as the new superintendent of Miami-Dade schools is in jeopardy.
The most alarming part of this story is not the affair itself, but how the affair distorted news coverage. In addition to documenting the relationship, the emails detail how deLuzuriaga attempted to shape her reporting to preserve her relationship with Carvalho and how he bullied her about it. In this exchange we see that Carvalho argued with deLuzuriaga about her coverage and she apologizes, asking for “understanding” about not quoting him more and giving him more credit:
And in this e-mail deLuzuriaga explicitly apologizes for not helping Carvalho more and pledges that “we ought to act in ways that help one another”
Unfortunately, too many education reporters, especially outside of major cities, are in bed with school officials — figuratively. They depend upon those officials for access and treat their pronouncements and views as accepted facts when they should be much more skeptical.
If you want to see some examples of the rare investigative education reporter, check out Scott Reeder or Mike Antonucci.