Power Policy and Politics in Health - Public Policy Issue - Article Writing - Assessment Answer

January 10, 2017
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1AEFB

Question: Power Policy and Politics in Health

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Power Policy and Politics in Health Assignment

Assignment Task

Students are to analyse one media article (Attached) on a public policy issue (health specific) that has received attention in the Australian media in the past three years. The analysis should focus on how the media article portrays the policy issue with reference to the article's objectivity, balance of perspectives, attitude, ideological viewpoint/s, scientific rigour and other evidence identified approaches used by the media to influence an audience.

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Solution:

Introduction

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald addressed the public policy related to people’s welfare. According to the author, many people in Australia face the risk of not receiving their welfare benefits due to small errors or inaccurate information about their immunization register. As the author points out, this information is critical to the welfare payment process(Medew 2016).the author analyzed feedback from various people who are at the risk of having their welfare payments reduced as well as those who are indirectly involved. The media is tasked with ensuring that the right information is conveyed to public and in a manner that is right.

However, whether every media presentation follows these simple principles remains uncertain. While some media presentations and articles follow the right procedures and give quality information to the public, some do not care about the validity and reliability of the information presented. For some people, it is just about reaching out to people irrespective of the means. This article analyses how the media portray the recent welfare policy on saving funds by making cuts of welfare payments. It analyses how the author has portrayed the policy and the manner in which the information is presented.

Policy issue

The core message being portrayed by the author is the extent to which the new government policy on citizen welfare is affecting people. The new welfare policy is a step by the government save money by cutting people’s welfare funds. From the perspective of the author, the policy has some unfair statutes that generate bias among different people. The authors present her message in a clear and succinct manner to draw the attention of the audience. The policy was developed to increase government saving from money collected from the welfare cuts and has raised concerns (Billington and Omer 2016)

In the past few years, the policy has been at the center of various media houses and reports. This may be probably because the policy deals with people. It deals with the government seeking refuge from its own people to get extra funds. The Australian government estimated that it would save close to $500 million from the policy it developed called the “no jab, no pay” policy (Rollins, 2015). This policy was developed with the aim of saving money by stopping children from families who not been vaccinated from getting their family and childcare benefits. A high number of people would be ultimately affected by the policy. As such, the policy has been a center of attraction to many media articles including the article by Medew(Medew 2016).

Objectivity

Most of the government policies are usually developed for particular reasons. Most of the policies aim at making the life of people better. The author of the article is subjective in her arguments towards the effects of the policy. The author portrays the welfare policy as tool that puts a vast number of people at a disadvantage. The fact that the policy aims at cutting down the welfare payments people has negative effects on people who may depend to this money. This perspective of the author is clearly showing the media article. However, it could be more informative if the author could also look at the other side of the police. The author could also address why the policy was developed. Developing a saving scheme or plan is a critical step any government can take to help its people in this era of financial crises. This is the problems with most media articles. They will do anything it takes to drive their message home even is some critical components or information is omitted. This media article has demonstrated convincingly that the policy is oppressive in nature particularly towards people who have not received all the immunizations.

In addition, the article has also shown that the fact that these people are not immunized is not their fault but the governments(Medew 2016). This is done to continue painting emphasizing on the extent to which the welfare policy is oppressive to people. It is done to strengthen the author’s argument. In the article, the author points out the fact that a significant number of children listed in the article as not fully immunized may in fact be fully vaccinated. So, are these government records lying to cut the welfare payments of these people? The answer may be self-explanatory. The use of such messages and information in a media article further strengthen the author’s message. From the author’s perspective, the whole welfare policy is a government scheme to steal from people. It is a government play to ensure that it reaps maximum benefits from the welfare policy. By including incorrect names in the register, the government stands a better chance of having a significant number of people not receiving their welfare payment. This would further result in more savings by the government.

Balance of perspectives

Despite the fact that author has used scientific evidence to show that the welfare policy is oppressive to people the author her not balanced her perspectives on the matter. The argument is one-sided. The causes of the problems as is evident in the media article are administrative problems related to the registration system. It is inarguable that the author has shown successfully that the problems with the registration system have left many people suffering the effects of welfare cuts. However, the author has not tackled any other counter arguments that may cause the problem. Only one perspective has been used all over the article to support the main arguments of the articles. It could be more informative if the author of the media article could have looked at other possible factors that may have caused the problems (Rollings 2016). Something like poor adherence of some people to immunization policies may have caused some people to find themselves in the list for those to be subjected to welfare cuts(Medew, 2016).

Ideology

The author is of the opinion that is unfair for so many people to have their pay’s cut because they are not immunized. The ideology of the author is that it is not these people’s fault that they are not in the register. It seems the media article is blaming the whole system for the high number of people who are not in the immunization register. The author cites errors in the ACIR and problems with GPs and nurses when uploading patient information as some of the cause of the high number of people not receiving their full amounts. It is a good for the article to clarify some of these issues. Essentially, it part of the media job to ensure that people are aware of the various policies that unfairly affect them. By highlighting these issues, Medew is among the many reporters that are helping streamline and illuminate the government-led policies(Medew 2016). Rather than raising money from people’s welfare funds, the government should look at alternative sources of saving funds. This is what we get from the media article. Rather than oppressing people through immunization restrictions, the government can find other sources of raising funds. There are better ways to raise funds rather than the ‘no jab, no pay’ (Macartney 2015)

It is scholarly to explore various perspectives of a particular issue before making strong concluding remarks and recommendations. However, this is not evident in the article. We only see the author dwelling on one side of the equation. To get a clear picture of a particular issue, it is always advisable for the authors or researcher to explore various perspectives or ideas of that particular issue. By exploring all the possible factors and perspectives, it is always easy to find the right conclusions and subsequent recommendations. Despite the fact that the article’s message is clearly brought out, the conclusions may be largely subjective. Only the errors in the registration process have been analyzed as the likely causes of the high number of people at risk of losing their welfare pay.

Scientific vigor

In any form of reporting, there is need for a strong backup or evidence to support one’s arguments. This evidence will only be considered valid if it is supported by scientific facts. The author of the media article uses employees these techniques to proof the validity of the information she is presenting. She is using a high scientific vigor in her presentation to make the audience trust the information she is presenting. The author seeks information from an immunization expert to show the extent of children who are on the list to receive pay cuts while in deed these people are fully vaccinated. The fact that the author quotes information presented by an immunization policy expert displays a higher level of scientific vigor. The author of the article is trying to show readers that the information presented in the paper is backed by scientific evidence in the form of qualified experts in the field. The use of qualified experts to present information on a particular aspect of their area of expertise further improves the audience trust in the information presented in the paper. The fact that 18-50 percent of the children in the list for receiving welfare pay cuts may be there wrongly shows the extent to which this particular welfare policy is oppressive to people(Medew 2016). The fact that this information is given by an immunization expert further shows that the information presented is backed by science. To strengthen the fact that the author is presenting reliable information, she cites from previous Australian audit records. The audit reports also support the information presented by the immunization expert, professor Leask. Why does the media article author use this sources as evidence to her arguments? It is because she seeks the trust of her audience. The moment the author’s audience trusts the information she is giving, it is a win for the author. Her message would have successfully reached the intended audience.

Evidence identified approaches

Evidence is also gathered from other stakeholders in the policy. This includes nurses, parents, senate representative, public officers and other associated parties who are directly or indirectly affected by the policy (Holden 2016). The approach used by the author to support her arguments is in depth and clever. No information can be regarded as reliable and valid if it does not come from reliable sources. According to the article, problems with the registration system may be a major factor explaining why some people may be on the list wrongfully. The author uses evidence from many people to support her claims(Medew 2016). The evidence presented in the paper is that the increased number to problems to lack the payment would be because of administrative problems. The issue may not be with the individual person by the government system as a while.

Conclusion

It is clear that the author has successfully shown that the welfare policy recently developed by the Australian government has oppressed any people. It can be concluded that the authors has succeeded in sending the intended message to the audience. The message was that any people are unfairly losing their welfare payment because of errors and factors out of their control. However, the author failed to explore different avenues may have cause these people to be absent from the register. Lack of information, negligence and laxity may have caused some parent to complete all the vaccinations for their children. What can be seen from the article is that the media will do all it needs to do in order to get the message sent. Even if it is about only exploring one perspective of a particular issue, the media will major on that as long as the intended message is send. This should not always be the case as it is richer to explore various perspectives of a particular phenomenon before making strong conclusions about that particular issue

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