Book Reviews

Building Bridges With the Press: A Guide for Educators

by Julie Blair

Reviewed by Paul Shaw
Superintendent,
White County Public Schools,
Cleveland, Ga.

As a superintendent, it is important to develop a good relationship with the news media. Julie Blair, author of Building Bridges With the Press: A Guide for Educators, offers her perspective on the obligations and benefits to school administrators in developing an open and cooperative relationship.

Her message to educators is this: Let the media in. Deal with the media openly and honestly. Allow the press to walk the hallways, attend classes and talk to students, teachers and staff members to gain a better understanding of public education in your community.

While the author provides some common-sense answers and offers helpful hints, superintendents may want more in-depth analysis of public relations plans, crises management during emergencies and suggestions in dealing with a negative press. Blair, a staff writer with the trade newspaper Education Week, acknowledges that not all journalists are professional in how they conduct their reporting and she lists eight actions that should not be tolerated. More specific examples would have made the book more practical.

(Building Bridges With the Press: A Guide for Educators by Julie Blair, Education Week Press, Bethesda, Md., 2004, 93 pp., $19.95 softcover)