What The WaPo Went Cool On, Ctd

Jun 18 2012 @ 8:17pm

Note the new headline. Diane Webber of Kaiser Health News writes:

Thanks muchly for picking up and riffing on Alec MacGillis’ dispatch from Tennessee on the uninsured. I was the KHN editor working with him, and I’m really proud of the story.

Must correct the record though: Kaiser Health News never had a commitment from WaPo that they would run the story on A1 or anywhere in the paper. And they were interested in it after some revisions. In the meantime, we shopped it to The Tennessean, and they were willing to give it A1 play on Sunday in the paper serving the part of the country where it was most relevant. After we got that commitment, we pulled it back from WaPo. So the headline on your blog post really isn’t accurate. 

KHN is a nonprofit news outfit (editorially independent from the foundation that funds us and not affiliated with the insurer Kaiser Permanente in any way). We live through our relationships with our partners, and WaPo is an excellent partner for many of our stories. They, and all our partners, always have the right to say “no, thanks” to any of our offerings. No harm, no foul. And in this case, as I said, they were willing to run it but we went a different direction.

In all editorial decisons to run or not run a story, there are some gray areas. "After revisions," according to my first source, meant cutting the piece far more than the authors wanted, and adjusting the piece to be less pro-Obamacare. But I'm persuaded that the WaPo did not refuse to run it at all – just in its current length. And that is their editorial prerogative. Hence the headline correction, which is now in the previous post as well.