Study Finds That Media Is Likely To Report Disability Numbers Without Context

According to Media Matters, print media coverage of Social Security issues during the first half of 2013 have “overwhelmingly [favored] reporting figures in raw numbers that lack relevant context, a trend that reflects cable and broadcast news coverage’s push for reducing the cost of the program over strengthening benefits for recipients.”

Media Matters studied three papers—the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post, and found that they “are more likely to report figures on Social Security revenue, spending, and funding gaps in terms of raw numbers that lack relevant context, such as previous years’ figures.” According to Media Matters, 59 percent of the total mentions of Social Security in the papers were based strictly on “raw numbers.”

“It is understandable that people who want to promote confusion about the budget — for example convincing people that all their tax dollars went to food stamps — would support the current method of budget reporting. It is impossible to understand why people who want a well-informed public would not push for changing this archaic and absurd practice,” economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Dean Baker told Media Matters.

It is not surprising that many media outlets are covering Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) without context. It is a very difficult subject to tackle, given the increase in the number of people receiving benefits. However, as we have reported previously, there are many factors causing the rise in recipients, including an aging population.

It should be noted that people who collect SSDI benefits have paid into the system through taxes and have earned work credits. If you have questions about applying for disability benefits or are unsure if you qualify, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free consultations, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

Troutman Touts: Disability benefits are paid for through the Social Security Trust Fund, which does not affect the national deficit.

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