But while the numbers in the Times article don’t tell us much about the healthcare.gov codebase itself, they do tell us something about the “specialist” sources that inform the article. The sources are not programmers, because programmers would not speak in terms of lines of code with no further context.
You want to know how to do great reporting? Be informed about the subject of your writing beyond bare necessity.
This isn't about just technology - this is across the board: journalists take what other people say and write it down without it passing through a moderately armed bullshit filter. What really gets me is when technology writers do this about technology.