How Well Does The New York Times Cover Health Reform?
The New York Times' public editor (also known as an ombudsman) on Sunday dissected readers' claims that the paper isn't doing as well as it could in covering health reform. Clark Hoyt writes:
Health care is a sprawling subject that is hard for a newspaper to get right. It involves economics, politics, and philosophical and moral values. There are complex delivery systems and hard-to-explain concepts, like how spending $829 billion over 10 years and adding 29 million people to health insurance rolls could save the government money in the long run. There are terms to keep straight - single payer vs. public option - lobbyists for special interests, and five separate comprehensive proposals under consideration in Congress, running to thousands of pages.
Hoyt notes that Times editors found that the paper was covering all aspects of health reform, but that its coverage didn't add up to a "coherent whole." Readers who missed a background story outlining the major issues might be befuddled by a "horse race" story about the latest legislative maneuvers. The Times has started a health reform blog, Prescriptions, and a Health Care Conversations forum for readers.
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