Blacklisted!

A sad commentary on the free press  

You might think that a Philadelphia daily newspaper might welcome occasional articles from an award-winning retired educator who lives in the city.

That has not been the case. 

Beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2015, I submitted more than 35 different “op-ed pieces” and “letters to the editor” to The Philadelphia Inquirer. Each e-mail submission was acknowledged with a note that the editors will consider the piece and notify me if publication would occur. However, in each case, there has never been any follow-up and none of these submissions has ever found its way into print in The Inquirer.

 This certainly goes beyond coincidence that my op-eds and letters focused on local issues (mostly the politics of education) have been so consistently rejected.  Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Inquirer has (1.) often published syndicated op-ed articles sometimes with little perspective on city or State needs ; and, (2.) published many strident position papers which regularly echo the same political ideology over and over.

Ironically, following each rejection of my writing by the Inquirer, almost all of my pieces have been published via national blogs, community newsletters, and other newspapers.

Even though I have worked in leadership roles in public education for 30 years, I have no claim to infallibility or brilliant insights nor do I crave a public spotlight.  Nevertheless, this censorship is disturbing.  Out of necessity—I get the message—I have now stopped submitting op-ed pieces to The Inquirer.

To this day, I am still bothered by the fact that this blacklisting has happened to me ….but I am much more disturbed that this censorship by a major daily newspaper could happen to anyone.  

Joseph P. Batory

(Recipient of the Lifetime Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of School Administrators)