The Reporting on Health Collaborative heard earlier this week that Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, was going to meet with the head of the Centers for Disease Control and then issue a statement. Is that itself worth a story?
Whether the subject is a money-squandering government agency or a looming public health threat or a failing school system, reporters want to be able to say something changed as a result of their reporting. Momentum might get going after a story, but continuing it is another matter.
Journalists have a knack for pointing out problems. They rarely explain how to fix these problems. The message to readers is: the world is a mess. You figure out how to make it better. There is a growing movement among reporters to remedy this.
Ask someone about an infectious disease that scares them. Chances are good they will not mention valley fever. But doctors compare it to cancer because of the way it feeds on tissue and keeps coming back.