Health Care Case Study
Health care reform is a major issue being discussed in the United States right now. The argument that seems to constantly be in the news is about whether the Affordable Care Act is an effective plan for American citizens. Democrats, led by President Obama, believe the act is the best way for Americans to get the care they need. Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, would argue that this is not the case. This argument has been a constant point of contention throughout Obama’s presidency, and one that has intensified due to its implementation spreading across the country.
There are ways that this issue can be viewed through a biased lens, and both the professional and propaganda models of news coverage fit this description. Politically liberal biased coverage follows the personality model, and would show examples of the Affordable Care Act helping citizens, along with portraying President Obama in a positive light. These articles would show little to no acknowledgment of any Republican arguments against the Affordable Care Act, or address them but also criticize the GOP’s position. Meanwhile, politically conservative biased news coverage would follow the propaganda model, and would list examples of how the Affordable Care Act could hurt American citizens. Just like in the personality model, the propaganda model would either not acknowledge the opposing (liberal) point of view, or attempt to diminish it, along with showing Speaker Boehner and other prominent Republican figures in a positive light.
In covering this topic, I believe all media outlets should use the professional model of journalism. This would mean they give a fair and balanced analysis of the issue, bringing up points made by both supporters and and detractors of the Affordable Care Act. They would also not interpret any sort of opinion into the story, unless they are advertising the article written as an “Oped” piece, and not news. An example of this would be in covering the launch of the new health care website,
. If I were to write an article about this, I would point out that the website had a very slow initial launch, but that it has also picked up users with each passing month. In addition, I would include quotes by political analysts and/or figures who both support and oppose the Affordable Care Act, which would explain their thoughts on how effective the website’s outreach has been to the American public. Finally, as stated before, I would not put any of my own personal opinion on this topic into the article, especially since my words could be interpreted by readers as fact, skewering their perspective on the issue. The four news sources used in this case study were FOX News, MSNBC, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald. These sources represent both ends of the political spectrum, and while none of these four are completely conservative, liberal, or neutral, they all show some sort of political bias. FOX News is considered to show a conservative bias, typically following the propaganda model in covering news stories. Its main competitor is often considered to be MSNBC, which positions itself as the alternative to FOX News by showing a liberal bias, and following the propaganda model in its news stories. The two major Boston newspapers also position themselves as ideological opponents, and alternatives to each other in the Boston market. The Boston Herald typically follows a conservative bias and the propaganda model, while the Boston Globe does the opposite, following a liberal bias and the personality model of
news coverage. With this in mind, one can assume that each of these media outlets will stick with its philosophy and cover the debate on health care reform and the Affordable Care Act in typical fashion. ...
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