The American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association issued a joint statement calling for a temporary moratorium on new applications for health coverage until the Federal government can establish guidelines to prevent medical Malpractice lawsuits on the Internet. In a press release issued jointly by the associations, they called on the Federal Trade Commission to “take immediate action” and “take measures to protect the public’s health and safety.” The joint release goes on to say that despite the new moratorium order, there is still evidence that current practices threaten the continuing well-being of patients. This comes as no surprise as both of these associations have had major political clout. Perhaps it should be said that both of these powerful lobby groups rely heavily on the fees that their members are able to bring in. Without these fees, they would be unable to continue their stranglehold over the medical industry.
As to the question of whether the new interim measure would actually do anything, one could only speculate. Many in Washington D.C. had criticized the idea even before it was put into circulation, simply because it does not fit the usual mold of what constitutes “journalism.” For instance, news reporters are often asked to focus on their own personal interest when covering an event. Would this type of activity be considered newsworthy if it was not an obvious attempt to sell a product or service?
The other issue with these recommendations comes from the fact that the temporary moratorium is set to expire in four aug. Does the news media need to be prepared in case it becomes necessary to use this tool in the future? Well, journalists should certainly make themselves more aware of what types of products and services are prone to consumer complaints due to their aggressive advertising. Perhaps then the newsroom would not be the target of such a heavy-handed attempt to manipulate the general public through the use of shock tactics.
It is also interesting to consider the implications of this news. After all, the current economic indicators do not bode well for consumers in Connecticut. Connecticut is one of the states that has been hardest hit by the economic slowdown across the country. In fact, many forecast that the state will experience a recession sooner rather than later, something that would impact its ability to attract businesses and consumers.
However, as unusual as it may seem, the ban on advertising during news shows, in Connecticut at least, could set a new precedent in the media world. Meaning, no company will be able to advertise during news broadcasts or news reports without first consulting the local station or cable television company about the content that they intend to air. This means that any type of advertisement, large or small, could be broadcast to the masses within a matter of minutes. This opens up the field significantly, meaning that businesses can now choose which types of ads they want to run based on their own interests and priorities. However, as news becomes more mainstream, and as companies become less likely to choose an ad that will be broadcast to the masses, there may be fewer options available to small businesses.
While some may see this as a bad thing, others may see it as a good thing. For those who believe that news stories should inform, educate and entertain rather than just be self-serving advertisements, the ban on advertising during news shows, in Connecticut at least, may mean that the public will get to hear more of what they want. After all, most news stories are intended to inform rather than entertain. In addition, those who argue that newspapers and magazines already offer enough entertainment are likely to welcome the idea that they may be given a news story that simply presents the latest scoop, rather than one that features an advertisement. Whether or not it’s good or bad news remains to be seen. As more newspapers and magazines choose to go online, it’s possible that nothing like this will happen for quite a few years.