The Similarities Grow…

Is it me, or are The Chronicle of Higher Education and InsideHigherEd.com looking more and more alike and covering more and more of the same news? A quick check today found zero stories about part-time faculty on either webpage. Ok. For CHE, this is nothing new. When IHE started, there were definitely more pieces about part-time faculty issues. Today, both have stories about the big NCAA conference, as well as state appropriations. On IHE’s site, the state appropriations header and teaser text are:

State Appropriations Are Up … for Now Jan. 11
Spending on colleges grew 7.5% for 2008, the largest percentage hike in a decade, but deficits in many states suggest tighter years are ahead. New California budget plan worries educators.

On CHE’s webpage, the the state appropriations header and teaser text are:

State Appropriations for Higher Education See Biggest Jump in Decades
Total appropriations from state tax revenue climbed 7.5 percent in the 2007-8 fiscal year, to $77.5-billion.

There are blogs on both sites, and we know that bloggers often cover the same materials, and today both IHE and CHE have pieces about letters of recommendation. No cartoon on CHE’s webpage (yet). Adjunct Advocate cartoonist Matt Hall’s work appears on IHE’s webpage, but not his adjunct-centered cartoons.

Here’s what IHE has to say about their website:

Inside Higher Ed is the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education. Whether you’re an adjunct or a vice president, a grad student or an eminence grise, we’ve got what you need to thrive in your job or find a better one: breaking news and feature stories, provocative daily commentary, areas for comment on every article, practical career columns, and a powerful suite of tools to help higher education professionals get jobs and colleges identify and hire employees.

So adjuncts can find what they need, huh? Hmm….On January 11th, obviously, what they didn’t need was any news.

Maybe it’s just that there’s nothing newsworthy going on with adjuncts right now? Right…what with part-time faculty lockouts at universities in both eastern and western Canada, part-time faculty layoffs at Eastern Oregon University, (that was just one Google news search) that seems unlikely.

So what’s the scoop at IHE? Are the trio of ex-CHE staffers who founded the website turning an editorial blind eye? A search of IHE’s site going back two years came up with 51 news pieces using the term “part-time.” Going back two years, I came up with about the same number of pieces in CHE. Know what? CHE editors don’t consider adjuncts a significant part of their readership.

Bottom line is that I am sad to see IHE not more aggressively covering the life and times of 70 percent of the professorate. No big surprise, unfortunately. As it is frequently in higher education news coverage, dog bites man.

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