Bankrupted by cancer: Why “cost” is an important criterion in our review process

The following is a guest blog post by Harold DeMonaco, the Assistant Chief Medical Officer for Care Transitions at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He has been one of our most active reviewers and guest bloggers throughout our 9+ year history. Discussion of cost is one of the criteria that HealthNewsReview.org uses to judge the quality of […]

1 9/1/2015

Psychology’s reproducibility problem is journalism’s problem, too

Science news outlets were buzzing last week with findings from a major research initiative designed to replicate the results of studies in psychology. The Reproducibility Project: Psychology re-ran 100 different studies that experts considered important foundational research in the field. This type of replication is important, explained project member Angela Atwood in a news release, because […]


Five Star Friday – Reuters Health, Wall Street Journal, Vox.com get top grades

Just a quick note, but we want to draw attention to the fact that we published three top-rated five-star story reviews this week.  They were: Reuters Health’s “An aspirin a day – for years – may keep colon cancer away.” Excerpt of our review: “A strong story that describes in clear terms the findings as well […]

1 8/26/2015

Randomized trials are no panacea for what ails nutrition research

Anyone who follows our work with any regularity knows that we write frequently about the limitations of observational research — and that media messages about such work often inappropriately imply that association equals causation. Today’s guest post is by Reijo Laatikainen, who emphasizes that there are problems with studies even at the pinnacle of the […]

6 8/25/2015

New DCIS study, news release lead to (very) mixed messages: ‘And we wonder why patients get confused’

The following is the first contribution to the blog by Dave Mosher, a deputy editor at Tech Insider who joined the HealthNewsReview.org team of reviewers earlier this year. His writing about science, technology, and innovation has appeared in outlets such as WIRED, Popular Science, and Scientific American.  It’s an all-too-common theme in the theater of health news: scientists publish […]

1 8/25/2015

The Cleveland Clinic dumps McDonald’s: important symbol of change or PR lip service?

The following guest post is by Carolina Branson, PhD, an associate editor with HealthNewsReview.org.  Last week, The Cleveland Clinic announced they were not renewing the lease on the McDonald’s franchise in their food court. While not unprecedented–it’s been reported that seven other hospitals that have done the same since 2009–the move was newsworthy given the prestige of […]

1 8/21/2015

Roundup of flibanserin – ‘female Viagra’ – approval news; ‘game changer’ to some, ‘monumental bamboozlement’ for others

Few were surprised that the FDA followed the recommendation of a sub-committee to approve a pill intended to enhance women’s libidos. Industry watchers expect Addyi (the brand name for flibanserin) to be a blockbuster drug. The drug will be marketed by either Sprout Pharmaceuticals or Valeant Pharmaceuticals. After the FDA approved Addyi on Tuesday, August […]

3 8/20/2015

Journalists as tour guides at the institutions they cover: a troubling NY Times precedent for the future of health news

The following guest post is by Earle Holland, a retired vice president for research communications at Ohio State University and now a regular contributor to HealthNewsReview.org. A colleague pointed me to an announcement that the New York Times was offering guided tours of CERN, the world-renowned European physics laboratory. Surprisingly, the announcement said that the […]


Independent sources take a vacation from Times coverage

At HealthNewsReview.org we’re used to seeing health stories that lack multiple sources, rely heavily on news releases and neglect independent viewpoints. We’re admittedly not used to seeing such stories published in The New York Times, and yet the Gray Lady published three stories lacking independent viewpoints on Monday, August 17. We think it’s essential that […]

4 8/19/2015

What if we had an election and counted only half the ballots? When you’re burying research you’re also likely burying patients

Alan Cassels is a pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria. He’s also one of our reviewers and a regular contributor to the blog. As a group that aims to monitor and hopefully improve health news reporting, we sometimes notice what doesn’t make the news. Clearly the sexiest, most headline-generating and most tweetable topics come from […]


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