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New Rochelle Patch's Beat-Sweetener for Superintendent Richard Organisciak

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New Rochelle Patch's Beat-Sweetener for Superintendent Richard Organisciak

October 12, 2010 - 23:10

In the newspaper business, the article by Barb Grondin Francella entitled Richard Organisciak: Advocate, Juggler, ‘Closer’ is what is known as a beat-sweetener.

Tim Noah at Slate.com sums it nicely:

A beat-sweetener (some prefer the term source-greaser) is a gratuitously flattering profile that a reporter writes about a government official in the hope that it will encourage (or, at the very least, not impede) that reporter's access to the official in question.

Not a word of the many failures under Organisciak's watch -- the decline in graduation rates, declining test scores, the horrendous health inspection reports, the corruption in the buildings and grounds department -- just a syrupy, uncritical portrayal of Organisciak that would make Jack Shafer roll his eyes.

Apparently the biggest worry facing Organisciak is "dealing with issues as varied as problems with afternoon traffic at William B. Ward school to concerns about using nonrecyclable foam cafeteria trays." Wow! Really? Apparently that leaves little time for dealing with drug dealers and gangs operating in the schools, employees working no-show jobs, civil service employees filing phony residency paperwork, or the busloads of students coming in from the Bronx every day.