Tuesday, April 27, 2004

NOT-SO-TABLOID VALUES. The Boston Herald today opted for substance over sensation in a heartening way. Like the Boston Globe, the tabloid led with Superior Court judge Margot Botsford's ruling that the state's system for financing public education is inadequate and discriminates against poorer communities.

The front-page splash in the Herald is "SAVE OUR SCHOOLS," along with a photo of Julie Hancock, the Brockton 10th-grader who is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. (Hancock is the daughter of Brockton School Committee member Maurice Hancock.) Inside is a meaty, two-page package - a lead story by Kevin Rothstein, sidebars by Rothstein on Hancock and school-funding activist Norma Shapiro, a column (sub. req.) by Mike Barnicle (who failed to stay on message, instead going off on a bender about gay marriage), and a chart showing educational inequities between rich and poor communities.

The Globe's coverage, by Anand Vaishnav, is fine, and I'll certainly take the Globe's supportive editorial over the Herald's miserly stance. But the Herald's package was, I hope, a sign that acting editor Ken Chandler's reign isn't going to be all sex and celebrity.

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