But the health law isn’t a 140-character story, and its nuances won’t fit neatly into a three-minute local news segment or 10-inch column, a challenge some media experts say could play a role in public perception of Obamacare as it’s implemented. And it’s likelier than ever that journalism will reinforce diverging narratives, rather than building a national consensus.
“We don’t have a shared template,” Troy said, suggesting out that an explosion of news outlets in recent years — POLITICO included — will prevent dominant players like The New York Times from defining the Obamacare narrative.
Obamacare supporters are pleading with reporters to avoid being seduced into treating every technical snafu as a catastrophic failure.
“The most obvious point is, the responsibility of news organizations is to report on the fact that it’s the first day, that people have the opportunity to enroll in the most significant health care program since Medicare and Medicaid,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for American Now. “There are 25 million people who have that opportunity. The media ought to point that out before jumping on whether or not there’s some small problem or glitch simply because opponents holler about it.”