How do we use numbers so people don’t tune out? I use as few as I absolutely need to and hope for the best. One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to find yourself a really good explainer. Maybe you’ve got a professor at a local college. There are lots of people who know about this and are really good at explaining. And it’s not just the five or six people who we national reporters like to use. Go find them.

Reporters often tell us that editors don’t see policy stories as very sexy.
Editors should look at the polls. They suggest that health care and health insurance are right up there after Iraq in terms of what the public wants to see addressed. 

If you'd like to help CJR and win a chance at one of 10 free print subscriptions, take a brief survey for us here.

 

More in Q and A

Room to Roam

Read More »

Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.