Covering Health today discusses how the media did no favors in helping the public understand Congress' major (and now dead?) health-reform proposal. The blog entry links to a Health News Florida piece saying most media coverage actually made the public more confused about the issues:
“The message from the media is that the bill is convoluted and complex,” [Florida State University Assistant Professor Jeanette] Castillo said. Most news accounts settled for “gossipy tales of the wooing of individual senators” and a “circus-like atmosphere of rumor and fear-mongering.”
Other experts said the media spent little time explaining major parts of the legislation, and they put the blame on the 24-hour news cycle, which requires that reporters come up with new angles on stories, and on a dearth of experienced health reporters:
“Health care reform is an incredibly complex topic, and it takes someone with a fair amount of knowledge to understand even the language used in some of the proposals,” [Kim] Walsh-Childers [University of Florida professor] said.