Report: Where’s the Media Health Coverage?
President-elect Barack Obama may have made health-care reform a priority in 2009, but not everyone sees the issue as being so important. So says a new report, revealing that media coverage of health issues made up just 3.6 percent of all news coverage in the 18 months between January 2007 and June 2008.
The report, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, found that the largest chunk of those health-related stories (42 percent) focused on individual ailments, while just 27 percent dealt with health policy or reform. That means that — even while nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured; while the country’s infant mortality rates are higher than 28 others around the world; and while Medicare’s hospital fund is projected to go belly up in precisely 11 years — less than 1 percent of all news coverage targeted these things.
Is there any wonder why there’s been little pressure on Congress to fix the problem?