How The Press Covered Health Reform

Igor Volsky links to a new study from Pew on how the media covered the health reform debate. Igor has a lot of interesting analysis, but I think this is the core of the issue:

1634-2 1

I find myself surprised that the substance issues actually did this well, which reminds me of what I think is the big paradox of the media and health reform. The coverage of the debate was, to my recollection, the best coverage of any major political story since I’ve paid attention to such things. The coverage of the debate was also not very good. But rather than scold, I’ll try to be encouraging—the press devoted a lot of time to explaining the health care plans and a modest amount of time to describing the state of American health care. That’s a good thing. Explaining how political proposals relate to issues in people’s lives is the way the mass media ought to cover politics. Politics as a dramatic clash between famous people is much less entertaining than a big sports event or celebrity gossip.