Daryl posted the link to an ad farm article about homeschooling, which I’m not going to bother giving another link because the article is lame. It’s ‘just another tv show’ meant to keep you sitting in your chair for the commercial.
If you click on the writer’s name, Michelle Bery, you land on a page with a list of her articles. Apparently, she writes plausibly in many fields (68) so that someone is willing to pay her for them.
This kind of ‘homeschooling article’ is putting me off the freelance-writer game. In my general reading, I’m leery of any article written by someone other than a practitioner of whatever is being written about. Instead of using the New, New Journalism model in which writers immerse themselves in the culture of the article’s subject, many freelancers do superficial research — just enough to be believable — then start tapping away at the keyboard. I wonder to myself about how many mainstream articles are of this variety.
In writing about homeschooling, there is a definite problem with bias both for and against the practice (see the “Edit Warring” entry at the discussion page about the homeschooling entry at Wikipedia). We’ve all been educated in some fashion, and have opinions about either the ‘fly, be free’ model of education, or the bureaucratic model, so where do editors find the truly objective writer? Everyone has baggage, as is evident from the ad farm writer’s opinion that all “home schools” should be inspected, and tailor what they do to the local school system. If that viewpoint didn’t reflect cluelessness about homeschooling, I would think the article was published by The Onion.
The only effect that these articles have on me is to make me discount anything not written by an expert, which is an odd standpoint for an ‘I don’t need no stinkin’ experts’ homeschooler.
posted by Valerie