New Facts Should Mean New Editorial Choices

Of all the stories in the news today in the Detroit area, perhaps the most significant seemed to get lost.

Health care employs more people in Michigan than the auto industry.

Because we work so frequently in health care public relations and communications at Tanner Friedman, we saw this trend coming a long time ago. We envision a day when health care is the top employer in the United States. But, the Michigan media is way behind the trend. Health care is under covered at most outlets in the state.

For example, one Detroit daily has just one reporter focusing full-time on health care business reporting. The other has a reporter who spends most, but not all, day cover health care business. The suburban dailies only cover health care when there is a new building built, or something controversial happening at a hospital. The information radio stations don’t cover much health care anymore. And the TV stations? They focus on “breakthroughs,” “cures” and diseases, but not much coverage of the industry that now employs more of their audience than any other.

New media is absent in this area too. There are no known blogs or e-newsletters exclusively covering the subject. This presents a real opportunity for an entrepreneurial journalist as ad dollars in health care are plentiful.

It’s time for news outlets to start thinking differently about their audience. Chances are better than ever, stories about the business of health care are more relevant than ever. That, not the workforce of years gone by, should be dictating news decisions.