Monday, November 24, 2014. Last Update: Fri 2:45 PM EST

The Second Opinion

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Reporting on healthcare when it’s politically hot or not

There’s more to the beat than the politics of Obamacare—see the Tampa Bay Times, The Record, and the Kearney Hub

How should reporters cover healthcare when the Affordable Care Act is no longer a hot political story? It's an essential... More

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The New York Times exposes surprise medical bills

The latest article in Elisabeth Rosenthal’s standout series may be the best installment yet

Elisabeth Rosenthal deserves a CJR laurel for her Sunday New York Times article, the latest installment in her “Paying... More

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Why were Massachusetts reporters slow to probe the health exchange meltdown?

Q&A with a Boston IT expert who pieced together the story in a 31,000-word ‘Autopsy Report’

As Massachusetts goes, so goes the nation--at least when it comes to healthcare. In 2009 and 2010, in the midst... More

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‘Mediscare’ claims persist. Does calling them ‘debunked’ suffice?

A humble suggestion for reporters covering a recycled Medicare campaign claim

Well, what do you know. Republicans are trying their luck yet again with campaign ads telling voters that the Dems... More

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New York Times story questions Obamacare’s nursing-home ratings

Facilities have learned to game the system, so five stars may not mean much

Katie Thomas' piece in Monday's New York Times undermined what has become a pillar of the standard nursing-home story of... More

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The cost battle between insurers and hospitals spills into the press

In Nebraska, public radio captures the plight of the patients caught in the middle

It's not often that a nice succinct story about hospital consolidation, high out-of-pocket costs, and limitations on patient choice comes... More

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Medicare fraud stories ignore larger issues of reform

The problem is well-established; what to do about it is not

This has been a summer for Medicare fraud stories. In the past week alone, there were stories from The Wall... More

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Why did one regulator order a health insurer to set its rates higher?

An unusual case in Oregon draws some good coverage, and deserves sustained attention

A little drama over insurance rates came to a head earlier this week in Oregon, with a result you might... More

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How do you catch a candidate and pin him down?

MinnPost asked Sen. Al Franken’s challenger nine times what he’d do about Medicare and Social Security. The exchange is illuminating for reporters and voters.

Eric Black, a political columnist for MinnPost, offered a great example recently of how to pin down (or, at least,... More

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Why we should be wary with a new survey showing a spike in uninsured Kansans

“It’s a weird one,” the research director says of a surprising result in the Sunflower State

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS — “Bottom line, Rep. [Tim] Huelskamp appears to be utterly full of hooey,” Charles Gaba of ACASignups.net told... More

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The Boston Globe owned the health policy beat once. Where did that tenacity go?

The paper’s coverage of big health news in Massachusetts is now too often ho-hum

As goes Massachusetts; so goes the nation--at least when it comes to healthcare. In 2009 and 2010, in the midst... More

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Dangerous drug side effects will no longer be secret in Canada

Kudos to the Toronto Star for dogged investigations and pressure on a reluctant government agency

Last fall on a visit to Canada, I spotted a first-rate piece in the Toronto Star by Diana Zlomislic,... More

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The Associated Press factchecks a couple ‘Mediscare’ ads in Kentucky

As the midterm campaign gets underway, some familiar talking points come out again

Bravo to The Associated Press! As soon as dueling ads for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his challenger in the... More

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Medicare isn’t doing its own ‘truth checking.’ Why?

Kudos to ProPublica for “Examining Medicare,” but there’s more to this story than the bad apples

In April, the Department of Health and Human Services released its great Medicare data dump unlocking a treasure chest of... More

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If it sounds ‘too good to be true…’

How Health News Florida flubbed the rate story last week and what all reporters can take away from it

Remember those seven tips I offered earlier this month for how to report on health insurance rate proposals? I have... More

Why won’t journalists ask Bill Cosby the tough questions? - Sexual assault charges are hardly ever mentioned to the TV star

Knoxville’s alt-weekly wasn’t losing money. It got shut down anyway - Scripps pulls the plug on Metro Pulse in favor of an entertainment supplement for the local daily

Chuck Todd’s Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president - ‘The Stranger’ underscores a broader problem with the way we cover politics

Beware labeling Pope Francis a liberal - Political boxes like liberal/conservative and evolutionist/creationist miss his real significance

The Virginian-Pilot produces a breakthrough investigation amid layoffs - Reporter John Holland discusses how the story came together, newsroom cutbacks, and colleagues who cover for each other


Which media outlets use ‘illegal immigrant’? (Fusion)

“[I]n spite of all the good reasons not to use the phrase, it is still very easy to find in the US press, even in headlines”

Jack Shafer on losing his job (Capital New York)

“Right now, my immediate plan is to go to work as a lay therapist at The Intercept to bring the healing there so John Cook and Matt Taibbi can return. I have great interpersonal skills.”

On outlets that continue to call unknown drone victims ‘militants’ (The Intercept)

“Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated”

UNITY’s convention is no more (All Digitocracy)

“The organization’s board of directors decided that UNITY will no longer host the quadrennial conferences for which it had become known”

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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