Your View

Your View: How We Covered the Affordable Care Act

Posted: Nov 8, 2013 3:39 PM by Christine Roto & Yuqing Pan, KOMU 8 Reporters
Updated: Nov 9, 2013 9:21 PM

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COLUMBIA - On October 14th, KOMU reported on a story about how the Affordable Care Act made preventative screening more accessible to women. Some viewers commented on KOMU's Facebook calling the story "free advertisement" for the new healthcare program. In this week's Your View, we take a closer look at how we reported on the story.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one KOMU reporter found the new Affordable Healthcare Act allows more women to access preventive health care.

The story got some negative comments on KOMU's Facebook.

Viewer Susan Green McMichael questioned the validity of the story, saying,"This is a lie, because of the ACA, my insurance doesn't cover mammograms anymore."

Another viewer, John Birdno, wrote, "Channel 8, it appears that you may be supporting Obamacare," he said. "Whether or not you 'support' it, is your business. However, when you 'promote' it, you, as a news affiliate, are stepping way beyond your boundaries of reporting the news. In the future, let's try to report the news, not make it. Thanks."

KOMU's News Director Stacey Woelfel said the story was reported without bias and it was a mere overview of one portion of the Affordable Care Act.

"You have a lot of people responding who have an intense dislike for the program, and so they're really lashing out to attack any coverage of it when they may not even have read it entirely in some cases," Woelfel said.

The reporter of the story explains her story is based on the information on the ACA website and says she made it clear that "more" women are covered under the act, but not "all" women.

MU Associate Journalism Professor Earnest Perry said he thinks this is a valid story.

"I don't think it's a promotion for the Obamacare," he said. "I think the reporter is providing information that women now have the ability to have this preventive test done and be covered under their insurance under the new affordable care act."

Perry said one mistake the reporter made was calling it "President Obama's Affordable Healthcare Act" in the first sentence.

"Part of the thing that maybe got the viewers upset was the fact she initially said it was the President's law, and maybe she has just stuck to Affordable Care Act, instead of Obamacare, it may not have been much of an issue," Perry said.

"We try not to use labels that one side puts on something to diminish it or whatever," Woelfel said. "Interestingly enough its just how language works that it has come to be the term that both sides call it often."

So what do you think? Do you think we covered this story fairly? Let us know on facebook, twitter or google plus.

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