Intrigue in the Big League

A uni student's intrigue in marketing and media

Education Department takes taxi service from autistic boy

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A MOTHER of an autistic child was told by the Education Department he couldn’t use a taxigovernment-provided taxi service for his 300km round trip to school because of allegations the child was aggressive.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, said she was given just two days notice at the start of the school year that her son, 13, would be transported by a different taxi driver.

As a result of the change in driver, she said her son’s behaviour worsened and the Education Department withdrew the service this month.” >> read more at adelaidenow

This is an article by adelaidenow, and tells the story of an autistic boy and his mother having problems finding transport to Murray Bridge Special School from their regional home. The mother claims this is because the Education Department withdrew taxi services which they previously used for transport.

The article starts off with just one opinion, that the mother and boy have been poorly treated by the Education Department. The article first gives the mother’s opinion, then touches on a similar story which again points out a flaw in the Education Department’s system, and the next source is an opposition education spokesman.

Usually, when journalists need to find conflict in a story, they can rely on the opposition of a department to supply a good argument. Opposition leaders and spokesman often take these opportunities to point out flaws in current government’s system, hopefully encouraging voters that the next election should bring change and therefore a new party might be voted into leadership.

“It is an entirely unacceptable set of circumstances for a child with autism to be left unable to attend school as a result of this appalling mismanage,” Opposition education spokesman, David Pisoni said.

“Another parent has had to come to the Opposition and the media to tell her story about the lack of process and the mismanagement of this system within the Education Department.”

While the article was quite biased against the Education Department up until this point, the next source helped to balance out the news story.

“Education Minister Jennifer Rankine denied transport assistance had been withdrawn by the department.”

Although Minister Rankine’s involvement in the article was left to the very end (hinting that it is not as important as the information at the beginning of the story), it is included. Without her quotes, the article would have been completely one-sided and the readers would have no idea what the Education Department was doing to fix the problem and what their reasons were for the actions they took.

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