While recently doing research for tomorrow's BIG blog post, I ran into another example of how our local media gives uneven and biased coverage to Cuba-related issues. Now, I'm sure many would say that since we live in Miami, where the Cuban-American population outnumbers other ethnic groups, that the public is entitled to a larger coverage of Cuba-related news. Well, I agree on that point. Where I disagree is on the biased coverage of Cuba-related stories, and unfair coverage in comparison to much more important national news.
This seems like a personal grievance, but allow me to present a clear example.
I was recently shocked to see that on December 6, 2006, the Miami Herald devoted only 433 words to the latest report on health in the US, while on January 17, 2007, the Herald devoted 1120 words to continued speculation on Fidel Castro's health.
This is an astonishing example of how priorities at the Miami Herald are gravely misplaced.
John Dorschner, health reporter for the Herald, essentially wrote a very brief summary of the annual report titled "America's Health Ranking's." This report, compiled by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association, Partnership for Prevention and other collaborations, is perhaps the most detailed report on the nation's health. Dorschner's piece titled "Florida drops a spot to No. 41 for healthcare", which appeared nicely on top of page 6A, but dominated by the presence of New York's ban on trans fat, saved only the last few paragraphs to describe the real impact of the report: that the nation's health has "stagnated" since 2000, obesity levels are "alarming", and that the US has fallen behind international health standards among the industrialized nations.
Yet, on January 17, 2007, John Dorschner and Nancy San Martin devoted 1120 words to a story on Fidel Castro's intestines, based on anonymous sources from Spain of course. This is tragic. Why couldn't it have been the other way around, with the nation's health receiving 1120 words instead of 433?
Why hadn't the nation's health appear on the front page that day, while a piece on how Hugo Chavez uses Jesus Christ as a socialist inspiration does? Actually, what should have happened was that the Chavez piece, which was 336 words, should have been scrapped, and the nation's health should have been given its appropriate space on the front, and with 769 words total to better summarize the health report.
There's no excuse for such unfair coverage.