Never before has there been such divisiveness in the press as throughout this past year. Having just gone through one of the most heated and controversial, if not the most controversial, presidential campaigns in history, it is evident that journalists are not what they once were. That would be objective. Too many of today’s journalists bring their own prejudices and opinions with them when they are ‘reporting’ and where once there was an editorial page, now entire newspapers and magazines have become editorial in nature. Such is the case with healthcare, it seems.
The truth is, healthcare is not affordable, there is a lack of qualified medical professionals and the care patients do receive is less than adequate. Unfortunately, this is not being reported because it seems the news is too focused on the two major political parties that form the divide in healthcare, and as a result, healthcare itself is falling between the cracks.
Hospital Administrators Are Crying Out for Help
Most of the major teaching hospitals and medical and nursing universities are reporting that there is a severe shortage in the numbers of students seeking entry into everything from nursing assistant programs to doctors specializing in oncology. Hospital administrators across the board are crying out for help. There are too few nurses and doctors and really, no budget to hire more anyway, if more were available. The Affordable Healthcare Act has left hospitals with increasing amounts of bad debt and again, journalists are turning a deaf ear to their pleas.
Objectivity Has Flown Out the Window
Instead, we are hearing that the candidate on the right wants to abolish Obamacare while the far left wants to funnel more funds into a program that bit the dust before it ever drew the first breath of fresh air. Journalists are having a field day promoting their choice of politicians. Take the time to watch the news on CNN, NBC, CBS or any of the other network channels to see if anything of substance is being said about healthcare or if it is all political hype, one party against the other. And, the saddest thing of all is that you can see that healthcare is really the furthest thing from the journalist’s mind and that their bias is taking control of their reporting.
Is Journalism Dead?
Whether an MSN in nursing administration is talking about the need for more nurses or an anchor is reporting overpopulation at the local hospitals, it seems to turn into a political circus and that is really sad. Journalism used to be all about reporting just the facts and nothing but the facts. That is the basis for journalism, but it has gone by the wayside with this new breed of reporters. Healthcare is in crisis. Boomers are overwhelming the system as they age, and there aren’t enough nurses, doctors, technicians or any other kind of support staff to meet their needs.
It’s time to revisit journalism for what it is – a fact-based reporting of what is observed and not a political debate. If you can’t report the news without injecting your opinion, try creative writing and leave journalism to those with a sense of ethics. It’s time to revamp journalism along with healthcare and we just might make something of this country yet.