Health News Review

From the American Medical Writers Association – 2014. One of its two highest awards “to distinguished leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the field of medical communicated.”  Past recipients include George Lundberg, John K. Iglehart, Anthony Fauci, Art Caplan, Sherwin Nuland, Jerome Groopman and others.

 


Named as one of 25 “Champions of Shared Decision Making” by the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, March, 2014. The Foundation stated: “Gary is the visionary behind HealthNewsReview.org, a project dedicated to improving the public dialogue about health care by helping consumers critically analyze claims about interventions and by promoting the principles of shared decision making.  Through HealthNewsReview.org, Gary has greatly helped improve standards for reporting health news and decrease the extent to which medical interventions are inaccurately portrayed and oversold.”


The Knight-Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism

Recognize “novel efforts to involve citizens actively in public issues, to invite their participation and create entry points that stir their imagination and engagement.” The judges wrote: “Strong methodology, great content, and a great service for reporters and the public.”


Healthcare Leadership Awards

Honor “the very best Web sites of healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare associations, online health companies, pharmaceutical/medical equipment firms, suppliers and other healthcare organizations.”


The Mirror Awards

Honor “the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit. Honorees are recognized for news judgment and command of craft in reporting, analysis and commentary.” One of seven winners in the first annual award competition, established by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.


Our Blog

Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview Blog – won the 2009 Best Medical Blog Award in competition hosted by Medgadget.com. The hosts wrote: “Gary has become renowned for his critique of media’s coverage of health care topics. And that’s what his blog is mostly about: checking and correcting the weak, erroneous, and misleading reporting of medical science and industry on TV and in newspapers.”


What Others Are Saying About HealthNewsReview.org

The editors of the journal PLoS Medicine wrote: “Schwitzer’s alarming report card of the trouble with medical news stories is thus a wake-up call for all of us involved in disseminating health research-researchers, academic institutions, journal editors, reporters, and media organizations-to work collaboratively to improve the standards of health reporting.”

Trish Groves, deputy editor, The BMJ:  “This is a vitally important initiative for increasing the public understanding of medical science and for improving the decisions that patients and doctors make together every day. As an editor who appraises and selects peer reviewed research to publish in a medical journal, I’m glad that HealthNewsReview keeps us all on our toes.”

Richard Besser, MD, Chief Health & Medical Editor, ABC News:  “It’s important you’re out there keeping us honest.  You say a lot of things that need to be said. Your newsletter is one of my favorite reads.”

Ivan Oransky, MD, VP & Global Editorial Director, MedPageToday:  “It is not hard to find journalism critiques in the blogosphere today, and many of these are valuable.  But HealthNews Review is the only one I know of with such rigorous – and correct – criteria.  I can say that as someone who ran a health news service reviewed by HealthNewsReview, I learned something from every review of our stories, negative and positive.  Colleagues at competing news organizations tell me the same thing.”

Charles Ornstein, former Pulitzer Prize winner at LA times, now senior reporter for ProPublica: “The work Gary and HealthNewsReview do is huge. It’s critically important for journalists to cover research and medical studies correctly, not to hype them blindly. Gary’s rules of the road and his website help fulfill this mission.”

Elizabeth Scherer, independent health care journalist: “I have consistently relied on HNR for its candor and data-driven analyses. Not only is HNR 2.0 or 3.0 sorely needed, but it’s one of the few checks and balances that I actually trust.”

James Thornton, independent health care journalist: “As a longtime health writer for men’s magazines, I am all too aware of the pressure to hype ‘breakthroughs’ and ‘miracle cures’ and ‘life-saving tests you absolutely must have NOW to save your life!’ HealthNewsReview is an invaluable counter to the worst of the Medical Industrial Complex’s attempts to scare the public into often unnecessary and sometimes harmful tests and interventions that are lining the pockets of practitioners while bankrupting the rest of us. Enthusiastic thumbs up to Gary and his colleagues!”

Daniel Pendick, executive editor, Harvard Men’s Health Watch: “I follow HealthNewsReview closely and it has informed and improved my own reporting many times—and spurred me to be a more skeptical consumer of news.”

Kathleen Raven, science and health journalist:  “This is such an important service — to research, to science, and, above all, to the public. As budgets everywhere shrink, we cannot afford to lose ‘watchdog’ journalism like HealthNewsReview.”

Brian Reid, former journalist, now PR professional:  As a public relations professional, HealthNewsReview has been invaluable in helping my clients and colleagues interact with the media in a way that helps consumers.”

Jane Kirtley, JD, Professor of Media Ethics and Law, University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication:  “HealthNewsReview.org has been influential and innovative, for journalists, for consumers, and for medical practitioners. It’s a must-read. Gary has had no shortage of fodder for the site, but he also has the ability to focus like the proverbial laser beam on the important issues, reviewing both quality medical news reporting and journalistic failures. He recruited a terrific team to help him monitor and critique the stories, and it has earned him a stellar reputation in the health news reporting industry. He brings his experience as a reporter, editor, and ethicist to the project, and he’s deservedly received accolades from around the world for the work he does.”

On the Canadian Medicine blog: “Gary Schwitzer is one of the most astute and intelligent critics of misleading, erroneous and fear-mongering health reporting.”

In The Seattle Times: “Schwitzer is one of the country’s leading authorities on what’s right and wrong about health coverage in the media.”

The top-rated KevinMD.com blog wrote: “Gary Schwitzer is the foremost health media watchdog, with his organization rigorously monitoring the health content of major media.”

Susan Perry, on her MinnPost.com column referred to the HealthNewsReview.org project as “indispensable to consumers & journalists.”

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication: “Calm and thorough analysis of health news journalism from HealthNewsReview.org”

Former U.S. Senator David Durenberger (R-MN):  “I’ve watched Gary and his team of experts work hard weekly at setting the record straight on journalism quality, especially on the medical research which shapes millions of peoples’ understanding of health and the health care system.  In the age of social media, this is critically important”

On the Association of Health Care Journalists “Covering Health” blog: “When Gary Schwitzer writes on the future of health journalism, his words carry the weight of a database loaded with more than 1,000 reviewed stories. Like Charles Darwin’s long study of barnacles, Schwitzer’s micro-level scrutiny of the industry has left him uniquely equipped to tackle the big picture stuff as well.”

The Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, in naming Schwitzer one of 25 Champions of Shared Decision Making:  “Through HealthNewsReview.org, Gary has greatly helped improve standards for reporting health news and decrease the extent to which medical interventions are inaccurately portrayed and oversold.”

Paul Raeburn on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker:  “I’m beginning to think that Schwitzer’s criteria for judging stories ought to be printed on wallet cards for reporters, like Miranda warnings, to remind them what questions to ask. I could use one of those myself.”

Leading patient advocate “e-patient Dave” DeBronkart:  “Too often the health stories we read have been poorly analyzed and reported on by today’s time-pressured reporters, as Schwitzer’s reviews make clear. The reviews and methodology presented on this site can help patients bring better quality information to the care relationship with their clinicians, and help all parties make better informed decisions. Schwitzer’s team encourages better health news reporting by publicly critiquing the work of specific journalists while at the same time demonstrating to the public the criteria that each of us should apply in our own reading of the news. Because their criteria are presented in lay terms, they enable consumer participation in health decision making.”

Another leading patient advocate – Trisha Torrey (EveryPatientsAdvocate.com): “So often HealthNewsReview pinpoints problems with news stories that patients could never glean themselves. I’m thankful to have the HNR watchdogs on the trail of truth! I often cite Gary and the HNR’s work in my writing.”

From a man who facilitates a prostate cancer support group: “Without Gary Schwitzer’s news comments, it would be difficult to keep the membership informed. Prostate cancer is first and foremost big business and we are no match for the confusing TV and News channels.”

From a health care consumer: “Since I have had an ongoing health problem for seven years I have done a lot of research and subscribe to some reliable health information sources. HealthNewsReview has been unique and extremely useful in providing a counterbalance to the constant barrage of misinformation about health news. I often find myself sharing the information with other people. Please keep this service alive—there is no other source like it.”

Patricia Battaglia, breast cancer advocate: “I work for an organization that informs and supports those diagnosed with breast cancer. Misinformation abounds in this area, and it’s particularly confusing for those who are newly diagnosed. In my work as newsletter editor for the group, I turn to HealthNewsReview time and again for analyses of the latest news reports, for tips on reading these reports with a discerning eye, and to educate myself on writing quality articles for our community. HealthNewsReview is a very, very necessary service that is not duplicated anywhere else.”

Employee of major health insurance company: “I read these reports top to bottom every time they come out. Invaluable is all I can say. This is a well run, well orchestrated publication with big time impact. Critical impact. I can’t express how well conceived and designed and actually IMPLEMENTED this report has been.”

A psychiatrist:  “As a physician I experience the impact of media reporting about healthcare , medical care and the healthcare system on a daily basis. It is remarkable how often the information patients receive through the media is false and often harmful. I have followed HealthNewsReview.org and found it a hopeful antidote to some of what passes as healthcare journalism.”

An internist/pathologist: “I’m an MD who has subscribed to HealthNewsReview for several years. In this world of constant lobbying, a completely neutral, evidence-based service which exposes the often careless or biased reporting of health news for both doctors and patients, is absolutely essential. Kudos to Gary for his persistence and excellence.”

A physician from Tufts Medical Center in Boston:  “FYI: One of my patients requested a prescription for a 10-day trial of a drug based on reading an article in the New York Times. I of course immediately went to HealthNewsReview.org and then asked him to “Please take a look at their story review and if you’d still like to try, let me know.” After reading your review, he replied that he’ll hold off on the prescription trial.  A win!  Yay for you and your work.”

A mental health professional in Maine:  “You are doing excellent work.  Keep it up.  Your writing puts joy in my heart.”

A nutrition specialist:  “Just a note to say thanks for your weekly emails. This one makes my day because, A) I’m also bombarded with this PR crap, and B) I’m surrounded by a certain segment of health care that just eats this stuff up and believes every bit of it.  Email newsletters like this make me feel less ‘alone.’ ”

 




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