Accentuating the Negative

March 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Uncategorized

By Denise Tessier

The United States Congress passed President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform package late Sunday night, ending a domestic battle that has defined the first year of his presidency. As this major domestic issue moves out of the spotlight, it will free up some time for Obama to address other items, such as foreign policy. Several issues will require his presidential attention now that he has the ability to focus with fewer distractions at home.

This is the first paragraph of today’s intelligence report from Stratfor, an independent subscriber-based service that provides daily analyses of news events to subscribers around the world, along with a number of free services. (You likely will be able to click on the full story without a subscription.)

How did the Albuquerque Journal lead off its news pages this Tuesday after historic passage of health care reform?

Well, here are its three headlines above the front-page fold:

Fight Over Health Care Isn’t Finished

Battle in Senate

Not Giving Up

The fact the President Obama is expected to sign the bill today is a photo caption.

The first of these stories, by the Bloomberg News service, talks about which provisions of the health care package will take effect immediately, and which could be changed or challenged. The headline, however, accentuates the “fight.”

Tellingly, the Journal has allowed its editorial opposition to the bill influence its headline and placement of a sidebar box to lead the reader into two stories on A-4 focusing on the GOP’s “Plans for Fight Into 11th Hour” and publicity for the nasty Tea Party movement.

The stories behind the three Journal headlines listed above aren’t available on the Journal’s online Home Page, so I’ve linked to the stories as they ran elsewhere. The stories could be slightly different on these other sites – the Bloomberg piece has already been updated once as I write this – but the gist is there.

The Journal web site focuses on what the Journal does best – local news. And if you looked early this morning, you would have found a health care-related headline at the top of the home page saying, “Obama to sign health bill, celebrate with allies,” the link for which directed the reader away from the Journal and to the Associated Press.

You won’t find that story in the print version of the Journal.

It chooses instead to focus on the “fight.”

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