Better health care coverage, please

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The good news is that the topic of health care reform was, by far, the most covered topic in the news media last week, according to It was a landslide.

Cable news barely covered any other topic last week:

That's good, right? The country's having a robust discussion about an important public policy issue, right?

Yeah, not quite. Also from [emphasis added]:

Last week's coverage of the proposed health care legislation was overwhelmingly focused on the two p's—politics and protests. Those two storylines accounted for about three-quarters of the overall coverage of the subject.

So much for a public policy discussion. Wonder if that media obsession with the three p's (politics, protests and process) has anything to do with the fact that most Americans think the health care coverage debate has been rather abysmal.

A Pew Research survey earlier this month found:

The public gives news organizations low marks for their coverage of health care. More than seven-in-ten say the media has done either a poor (40%) or only fair (32%) job explaining details of the various proposals. Just 21% offer a positive rating of this coverage: 4% excellent and 17% good.

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