Why are newspapers only informing their readers about how the health-care law affects them now, two years after it was passed?
CNN and Fox News have rightly come in for jeers after their spectacular misreporting of the Supreme Court's health-care ruling Thursday. Megan Garber has a great piece on what happened, linking it to the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline. But while that's an embarrassing failure, the press has committed a far greater sin in covering the health-care law. We have failed to inform the American public about the law. And while CNN and Fox corrected their reports quickly, there's still too little information about the law, more than two years after it was enacted.
Take a look through Poynter's very helpful roundup of front pages with news on the Supreme Court ruling. Once you get past the excellent woods from the Big Apple tabloids ("SAY ARRRGH!" in the conservative Post, "TO YOUR HEALTH!" in the more liberal Daily News), a striking pattern emerges in the headlines. As an exemplar, I've included a detail from the Parsippany, N.J. Daily Record above, where the lead headline was "What the healthcare law means to you." I don't mean to pick on the Daily Record. AM New York, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Jackson, Mississippi, Clarion-Ledger, the Des Moines Register, and the Youngstown Vindicator all ran similar headlines.