Education reporter also doing PR work for district she covers

Apparently, it was common knowledge among folks in the community and no one—except a pesky rival media outlet—seemed to care.

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From January to July, she also earned $75 an hour performing PR consulting for Alexandria City Public Schools, the school district she covers on her website.

The Alexandria Times broke the story, indicating Branch was hired to overhaul the district’s communications strategy. That included drafting “a system-wide and school-specific communication plan, as well as [reviewing]—and occasionally [writing]—press releases, email correspondence indicated.”

Media blogger Jim Romenesko pointed out that she wrote press releases for the school district—and then published them on her site.

Branch had this to say to Romenesko:

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