“Brussel Sprouts Journalism,”: Don’t Let the Name Fool You, It’s Not As Bad As It Tastes

There are both positives and negatives of “good-for-you, brussel sprouts journalism,” Some of the positives deal with having a specific niche to deal with. Having a specific  niche makes it so that a certain story will get full coverage instead of being a five minute story on a site or news network where everything has to be dissected in a couple of minutes. Another positive is the coverage of media in a certain state or city. This coverage helps the public stay informed about what is happening in their backyard and not some far away place they do not have any connection to.

I see one negative of “good-for-you, brussel sprouts journalism,”. The negative I see when it comes to reporting with such a format that news organization has to do with how that particular audience is going to become aware of what is going on around them. If a person or group of people has a media source of this kind as their only news source then they would never known important information going on in other cities as well as globally. I believe a prime example comes from the article itself where it spoke on whether or not the Texas Tribune would run the story on their site. They chose not to do so. Those decisions could hurt the organization because those types of stories are breaking news stories that attract many readers, including new readers who have never been to that site. Having those times of stories can help a news organization grow. However, if they have the same amount of the audience or even less than they did in the beginning then that could lead to their demise.

When it comes to the coverage of this trend by writer David Carr for the angle he was aiming for he captured what was necessary. There might be complaints about the article because it does not show the opposition: newspapers or other internet based news that report more broadly. However, his report was not on the older forms of media, but on the new form of “good-for-you, brussel sprouts journalism,” and that is what he accomplished in his article.

When it comes to showing bias in Carr’s story? Of course there was, but what writer does not have a bias. The writers’ job is to try and report a fair and accurate account of their story even though they have a bias. In my opinion that was what he did.


Does Anyone Need a Free Clinic?… I Know I Do

In 2007 a survey released by the Census Bureau stated that approximately 45.7 million people in the United States did not have health insurance. It does not make me happy to say that I am one of those 45.7 million, but I am.  On October 7th, 2009 anchor Keith Olbermann, host of Countdown on MSNBC, gave a special comment about the health care debate. Listening as he spoke I heard some grim statistics. In his special comment he stated that at least 122 people die every night because they do not have health insurance. He also stated that a study conducted by Harvard University and the Cambridge Health Alliance indicated that 45,000 people die each year because they do not have health insurance.

On the October 7th, 2009 episode of The Colbert Report hosted by comedian Stephen Colbert one of his opening jokes was “Time heals all wounds, so if your uninsured get a watch”. At first when I heard this joke I laughed because I thought it was funny. However, figuratively speaking I do that almost every time I get sick. I just wait it out and hope that I get better. The sad truth is many people who are not insured do the same thing and hope for the best.

The scary part is that some of these common colds and headaches turn out to be much worse. What is going to happen if someone finds out that the headache they thought they had turns out to be a brain tumor?, but because they are uninsured they cannot affored the operation that can save their lives. This will leave them with two choices: either to sell thier house or something else considered valuable and try to pay for the operation or do not have the operation and wait to die. Which one would you choose? None of them seem like really good choices.

While thinking about this a short report came on my television about this organization called The National Association of Free Clinics. On their web page they have a link that will show you the clinics that offer free services in your state. The organization also hosts free health clinic fairs where all a person has to do is show up. They also have updates on legislation about the issue of health care. The NAFC is a nonprofit organization which relies on donations and the volunteering doctors.  I believe that this is a great idea and more organizations like this should be available. I think it is sad that more people do not know about the NAFC.