I was disappointed in the Union-Bulletin on Sunday when a front-page headline referred to the president’s health-care plan rollout as a “mess.” It is not the journalist’s job to insert his or her own opinion when reporting news, unless it is specified as news commentary or placed in the editorial page of a newspaper.
This practice has become more and more prevalent in today’s highly charged, partisan political news media. It is definitely not fair, because it stirs the emotions, often shutting off a listener’s or reader’s rational thinking processes. When a journalist inserts his or her own value system, those readers who agree may happily have their biases affirmed, while those listeners or readers who disagree may become upset at the journalist’s skipping of the information for which any reader could use to help make a conclusion on their own.
“Obamacare” is not, by design, something the president should have put his signature upon, because when any snag has arisen in the rollout of this complicated system, the opposition jumps all over the president with its emotion-charged statements. People parrot the media, and may shrink from disagreeing with opinions presented by news anchors or newspaper editors, for want of being on the winning side of a political issue.
“Obamacare” is not the same as “public option” or single-payer. It is a combination of choices of private health insurance or choosing one of the health insurance “exchanges” — those which are expansions of Medicaid for states who decide to participate.
This plan was not the most straightforward, efficient nor cost-saving plan that could have been put on the table, in my opinion, but was a compromise made when Congress bargained between the two political parties. The end product was designed similarly to the signature “Romneycare.”
“Mess?” Not in my perspective. But my point is that it is not for the news journalists to dump their emotional wording on the public. Let the public decide and react with its own inner emotions by reporting pertinent information.
There was an ad in the Sunday Union-Bulletin where reporter Alfred Diaz described himself as a fair and concise reporter. After reading several of his articles over many months covering local news, I have to agree with him. If more news journalists were like him, I would find it a refreshing change for the better.
Sharon K. Schiller