Horse Race Coverage of Health Care Reform

Politico’s coverage today of the health care debate is typical of the nature and poor quality of what is being offered by the US media — traditional press and online — when it comes to reporting on what is likely to be the biggest reform of Obama’s first term. You could read the whole piece and have no idea of what is being proposed and counter-proposed, of how ordinary Americans will be impacted. There are seldom any details in the reports coming from the press and this is where online could do much better — everything is always about who has what votes, what the legislative process is and what the obstacles are and who may have to pay more tax. Details of proposals and how they might play out in the real world would be useful. But then the horse race has always taken first place for journalists who forget who their audience is — and that is, of course, why the audience is deserting them.

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