Health News Review
  • Jul 16 2013

    Breaking News hype: one local TV station vows not to use the term – offers 10-point contract with viewers

    …ers doing live shots from the scene of an accident or crime that happened so long ago that the location is already empty. News blogs run by Mervin Block and Jim Romenesko recently got ahold of a list of phrases recommended to television stations by SmithGeiger, a California consultant group. People who write news stories at TV stations need to find the right words to capture a sense of immediacy that viewers demand, the consultants said. Here are…

  • Nov 12 2013

    There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story

    …owed the mammogram show? Normally, I’d say that’s none of our business. But when a network TV personality says the mammogram saved her life, that changes the discussion.  If you’re going to use that national television platform to announce your choices and to make claims about what a mammogram did for you and how it might inspire other women, then we should at least know more about the pathology of your cancer – something,…

  • Dec 5 2011

    Institute of Medicine publication cites work of HealthNewsReview.org

    …atest barrier to successful public access to and use of medical information as a core care component is the general lack of reliable information sources in the traditional public media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio, and television—all major information sources for patients) (Schwitzer et al., 2005). Gary Schwitzer, a professor of journalism at the University of Minnesota, publishes www.HealthNewsReview.org, which weekly rates the handling o…

  • Dec 2 2007

    Goodbye, Columbus TV health news credibility

    … pays another station almost $150,000 for a “MedBreaks” segment. The VP and general manager of one of these stations rejected criticism saying, “They’re not ads, they’re vignettes. …The reality is, a television station that maintains editorial control I don’t believe is doing anything ethically wrong.â€? OK, then why doesn’t the station tell viewers what they’re getting by scrolling across the screen: THIS…

  • Oct 2 2009

    Another example of questionable local TV ethics regarding health programming

    A Madison, WI television station has offered to showcase doctors who pay for advertising as the top experts in their fields, according to the AP. Excerpt: WKOW 27, an ABC affiliate, sent letters to doctors and clinic managers last month soliciting help to create “a local source for credible, consumer information on health specialties.” The letter describing the “unique marketing initiative” didn’t specify when the …

  • Jan 4 2013

    Critical journalists try to deliver the skinny on “overweight people live longer” stories

    …ns giving advice to patients?  He’s not my physician.  I don’t care what he tells his patients. The program is labeled CBS News – not CBS MD Advice Column. He doesn’t have any right to use the national television platform to promote his own medical advice to a news audience. It crosses a line of journalism ethics.  I can cite clauses in the codes of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television

  • Jan 2 2009

    TV news directors make another bad deal on health care news

    …e entire TV news industry’s professional group – the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which announces: “In celebration of Ivanhoe Broadcast News’ 30th anniversary, Ivanhoe and The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation have joined forces to provide two new training opportunities for journalists. RTNDF and Ivanhoe are offering a post-graduate internship for a recent journalism graduate. The three-month i…

  • Mar 20 2006

    “Just add water” TV health reporting

    …hat the stories were locally produced and the patients and doctors quoted in the stories could be their neighbors.â€? Edell doesn’t practice what he has preached, according to GTN: “In his writing and in news stories on television, Dr. Edell has condemned the unattributed use of video news releases — ready-to-run stories produced by companies or government agencies looking for publicity. In an opinion piece he wrote for the Knight Rid…

  • Feb 22 2009

    PR Diarrhea

    …n on Prescription Drugs, wrote that too many journalists too easily fall into drug company plans to create a market for a drug, such as, in one case, a drug for “overactive bladders.” “Dozens of journalists at newspapers and television stations across the country wrote stories about the disorder said to be destroying the lives of millions of Americans,” she wrote. “Editors and television news directors loved these reports. Silly stories of peop…

  • Apr 23 2009

    The black hole of TV health news ethics

    Another chapter has been written in the sorry series of unethical practices by local TV news operations in covering health news. Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute criticizes the Radio-Television News Directors Association and a local Maine TV station – and rightly so. Excerpt: “I disagree with Radio-Television News Directors Association Chairman Ed Esposito’s decision to allow WGME-TV to keep its Edward R. Murrow Award f…




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