Lack of sustained coverage of health care crisis

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Former Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor Gene Roberts, whose paper won 17 Pulitzers in his 18 years in that job, was asked in an interview, “Are there any beats you would suggest the mainstream press is missing today?â€?

Roberts: “One of those is the medical crisis in the country. People write about it, but I don’t see the kind of sustained week-in, week-out coverage that the situation calls for.

You read now and then about the crisis in the emergency rooms and how many Americans are uninsured, but it isn’t really set up as a beat, so you have different reporters switching in and out of a story and you don’t get the expertise and the continuing coverage that would have if more reporters covered it as a beat. …

The FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, is another one not well reported by newspapers. The whole question about how rapidly and safely drugs get out to the public is another thing that is going uncovered.�

Roberts is now a journalism prof at the University of Maryland. He won a Pulitzer of his own last month for his book, “The Race Beat.â€?

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