Mainstream media is the primary news source for most Americans seeking to learn the facts and form opinions. Major networks, publications and reputable Web sites are powerful resources which help citizens clarify issues of social relevance. The responsibility these news organizations bear to present objective information about crucial pending legislation has long been the proud mission of respected journalists, news editors and, most recently, bloggers.
Some, like CBS Cares, raise the bar to ethical heights by staying out of politics and presenting unbiased, empirically-based information to educate consumers about social, mental health and health care conditions. Lamentably, such judicious use of media power is not always maintained.
Time Magazine (which has changed ownership over the years) is struggling like all print media to retain subscriptions and news stand sales. Its once bountiful pages have been greatly reduced as the economic burdens of publishing takes its toll on the industry. One would hope then that striving for objective journalistic excellence would be even more critical, lest speculative reporting hasten a publication’s descent to tabloid status.
The recent article which appeared, “The Melancholy of Motherhood,” presents a thinly-veiled bias against life-saving legislation, The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act, which continues its steady march toward adoption.
The article was researched, outreach made to many who attested to the critical need for this bill. Several of our nation’s most prominent PPD researchers such as Dr. Katherine Wisner and Dr. Michael O’Hara were interviewed; however, some comments were taken out of context to apparently support an editorial view.
Completely ignored were any reference to the interview with Katherine Stone, author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the U.S. on postpartum depression, or any attempt to interview Former NJ First Lady Mary Jo Codey who, along with her husband, spearheaded our nation’s first PPD legislation, which has led to the saving of so many lives in New Jersey.