Maggie Mahar is something of a national expert when it comes to the healthcare industry. She’s written a book, news articles, and frequent blog posts on the subject. Before that she was a financial writer and a Yale University professor.
Mahar, who describes herself as an unbiased healthcare reporter, recently began blogging about the mainstream news media’s lack of understanding and overall poor coverage of Obamacare. To prove her point, “Anatomy of an Obamacare ‘Horror Story’ ” deconstructs a piece published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
She found numerous holes in the Nov. 26 Star-Telegram article “Obamacare Stirs Anxiety For Thousands With Cancelled Policies.” She also determined that most of those featured in the story were Tea Party members with ulterior motives.
Six weeks later, Mahar still doesn’t believe the Startlegram has owned up to its mistakes or updated its story properly.
Mahar telephoned the paper relentlessly for weeks before getting ahold of editors and reporter Yamil Berard. The conversations, as relayed by Mahar, are enlightening.
From a reader’s standpoint, I empathize with Mahar, respect her diligence, and lament that more care wasn’t put into the story’s research, writing, and editing.
From a reporter’s standpoint, I understand Berard’s situation. Writing a complicated story about an unfamiliar subject with a two-day deadline is a hairy assignment.
This situation characterizes the news industry as a whole. Shrinking staffs, dwindling resources, and corporate demands for profit can hinder the ability of news organizations to effectively cover the world around it.
I’d expound more on this but I’ve got a million other things to do.