By JEAN-PAUL AGUIRRE
As a type 1 diabetic, any news of treatments to serious diseases or improvements in healthcare catches my attention. However, it also heightens my skepticism on news coverage.
This past weekend my mother handed me a magazine that is designed to assist diabetics through their daily routines. There was a story documenting a breakthrough treatment — and possible cure — of type 1 diabetes that was discovered at the University of Miami Diabetes Research Institute.
The treatment involved a surgery that transplanted islet cells into the body of a woman, Wendy Peacock, after decades of suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Islet cells are responsible for producing insulin in the body; type 1 diabetics suffer from their body’s immune system destroying these cells, which regulate blood sugar.
This surgery has relieved the patient from having to inject herself with insulin everyday, multiple times a day.
Since this is a breakthrough that can lead to the possible end of a disease that affects around 1.25 million Americans and countless others across the world, I figured that there would be more publicity surrounding it. Well, as far as I can tell, there have been a few articles from The Miami Herald and other medical websites that I have seen online, and some local news channels, like Local 10 News and Channel 7 News, but it has not made its way into mainstream media and news.
Maybe it is old news and that is the reason why I am not seeing the being covered more, but its important news and I think the bigger problem is that news organizations need to broaden their definition of what is considered “newsworthy” because we are saturated with the same information that is being re-circulated for days until another piece of information is released and then the process repeats itself.
Most of the news we are receiving now on TV is about the results of the Iowa caucuses and speculation on the upcoming New Hampshire caucuses. Or on Spanish television, like Telemundo, they are constantly talking about the actress, Kate del Castillo, who is allegedly involved with Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.
I am beginning to feel that news organizations are becoming more and more fueled by entertainment and ratings, rather than content and getting new, useful information to the public. Before it turns into an uncontrollable circus act, news organizations need to diversify their stories and give their audiences different types of information to process.