Unsupportable ‘cat therapy’ stories score high on cuteness but low on quality, even though many of us probably don’t care….(and have never heard of the word zoonoses)

Alan Cassels is one of our reviewers and a regular contributor to the blog. The Huffington Post recently published a story, “11 Reasons Your Crazy Cat Obsession Makes You Happier And Healthier,” in a section called the “Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power.” Not only was this a bit of a head-scratcher, it seemed little more […]


Schwitzer/Oransky workshop: “How to accurately report on medical research findings.”

Here are some of the examples used in the workshop, “How to accurately report on medical research findings,” at the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference, April 23, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. The workshop was led by Gary Schwitzer, publisher of HealthNewsReview.org, and Ivan Oransky, MD, Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today. […]

1 4/23/2015

The study that never existed: cancer edition

A couple of years ago on this blog, we shared the unfortunate story of Iced tea, kidney stones, and the study that never existed. Now, history seems to be repeating itself with another phantom study about vitamin supplements and cancer risk. As Michael McBurney writes on the TalkingNutrition blog of supplement manufacturer DSM, a variety […]

2 4/22/2015

Why so little news about Medicare Advantage plan rate increases?

The following is a guest blog post by Trudy Lieberman, who has specialized in health policy and health care reform news coverage throughout much of her career. Sellers of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans couldn’t have asked for a better result in their latest quest for higher government payments. In February, Medicare announced plans to hit […]

1 4/21/2015

Roundup of Media Messages on the New Mammogram Guidelines

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) unveiled a draft update to its guidelines on screening for breast cancer yesterday. The major media outlets all jumped in with coverage that — for the most part — did reasonably thorough jobs of fulfilling our criteria for health news stories. And while we didn’t think there was […]


CBS uses shameless clickbait with “Too Much of This Will Kill You”

How many clicks can a story deliver?  That’s the coin of the realm of news delivered on the web. The bait employed by CBS recently was a 13-slide photo series under the heading “Too much of this will kill you.” If enough of us click on all 13, then CBS can brag to advertisers about increased traffic. […]


Does a hospital’s high Facebook rating mean it’s a higher quality hospital?

The following is a guest post by Earle Holland, who, for almost 35 years, was the senior science and medical communications officer at Ohio State University.  He’s now a member of our editorial team.  Sometimes, researchers can do all the right things in reporting their results and still the outcome falls short of the public’’s need […]

3 4/16/2015

HealthNewsReview.org’s 9th anniversary – that almost didn’t happen

Today is the 9th anniversary of HealthNewsReview.org. And, although we didn’t plan it this way, today is the day we introduce our new look, our new design, with some new features. Last year, on our 8th anniversary, I thought the project was dead. But now, with new funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, […]


News releases can lead media like sheep – hiding key problems

Reviewing news releases about health care is more than an academic exercise. It matters because news stories that reach the public are often directly influenced by the content of news releases. That’s what news releases are intended to do. It is, sadly, sometimes like sheep following each other. Today we published our first systematic, criteria-driven […]

1 4/16/2015

What we’ve learned from >3 months of reviewing health care news releases

The following blog post is written by Kevin Lomangino, the managing editor of HealthNewsReview.org, who’s had his hand in each of the “practice” reviews of health care news releases that we’ve done since the start of the year. In January, we announced that we’d be adding news releases to our established effort to systematically review […]


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