The power of the media to control topic and tone of any conversation regarding news worthy material is something we all need to be aware of. In a world where a tweet can go viral and become the leading story on the national evening news at any time, we all need be to be aware and asking ourselves; where did that story come from? Why is it important and is this an advertisement or news? And most importantly, did we just get the facts or were we just sold someone’s personal opinion!
Case in point; The Affordable Care Act so dubbed “Obama Care,” by conservative radio, TV and Internet pundits. The law before has retained this less than flattering name because all three networks and faux news constantly refer to the act as such. It is a name even the President himself has used and sadly it has come to imply that the governmental response to the health care needs of the American people and the rising costs they face regarding health care here in America is at best, less than any of us deserve.
No topic has been covered more over the last few years than the Affordable Care Act. No topic has as well been given less explanation or a full analysis either. A survey of Americans recently asked which they preferred; Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act? Sadly more than one person has chosen one over the other, regardless of the fact they are one in the same! Again a result of media coverage and sound bite news reporting.
Key points of the law, such as you can no longer be denied insurance because of a preexisting condition or that the government will now help you pay for insurance if you cannot afford it on your own seem lost in the mix. This is a law that will have a very dramatic effect in the way we buy and are covered by insurance in this country for years to come; but if you are like most, you know more about Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend getting a DUI than you do about how to secure health care coverage if you don’t have it or worse yet, if you don’t know how to use a computer!
Additionally the recent glitches in the operation of the government’s dot slash Gov. web site, have discouraged many from even trying to get insurance. Few seem to know it is still possible to contact a local insurance company representative and buy health care insurance! A fact almost lost and seldom mentioned by most media sources.
As for the news, the idea of actually reporting who, what, where, when and why regarding a news story is less of a priority than either making the news warm and fuzzy or scary as hell. News is now ratings, and ratings are determined sadly not by listeners who really got the story, but those who are entertained enough to come back and see the next newscast.
Attention Deficit Disorder News has come to be the norm today. Stations weave in and out of scaring us to death with the news, to enticing promos from six to ten-thirty at night, only to tell us come eleven that if we want the whole story tune in at noon the next day! Although we have come a long way technically from that first live news cast in 1968 where a reporter was asked to tell his audience what was going on at the Berlin Wall at two o’clock in the morning, apparently we are still not too far from hearing a report just to be given a report, as that reporter did that first live news cast.