Health News Review
  • Apr 3 2012

    Lessons for journalists and the public about all the news we hear from medical conferences

    John Ioannidis, MD, of Stanford, whom the CommonHealth/WBUR bloggers referred to as the “renowned mythbuster of medicine,”  asks in a JAMA viewpoint piece, “Are Medical Conferences Useful? And for Whom?” (unfortunately, subscription required for full text access). The CommonHealth blog explains: After many years of questioning assumptions and seeking harder data on everything from surgery [...]

    5 Comments 1 Star
  • Feb 3 2012

    The Komen Kollection

    There has been no need for the Watchdog to weigh in on the Planned Parenthood/Komen fiasco this week.  We generally tend to write about things that otherwise might go un-noticed.  This issue – deservedly – was inescapable this week in news stories and through social media. We remind you that we tend to focus on [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Jan 16 2012

    “Consumer catnip” – weight loss apps at Consumer Electronics Show

    The following was originally published on the Reporting on Health website by Barbara Feder Ostrov, deputy editor of that site. That site and ours are now frequently exchange content. —————————————————————————————————————————————- Every January, there’s plenty of media coverage of weight loss, New Year’s fitness resolutions and other consumer health news intended to get couch potatoes off [...]

    1 Comment 1 Star
  • Jan 10 2012

    Another sponsored health news issue: retired columnist gets column back – now paid by health care industry

    3 months ago we blogged about a longtime Tampa Bay TV anchorman shifting – in retirement – to being a paid spokesman for a Medicare Advantage plan. Now we see that former Charleston, SC The Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger is doing promotions for a local health care provider organization, but it’s how this [...]

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  • Jan 6 2012

    Troubling TV news ethical issue – often on health news – now being reviewed by FCC

    “TV newscasts are increasingly seeded with corporate advertising masquerading as news — and the federal government wants to do something about it,” reports the Washington Post. It’s an issue that may have arisen more often with health news than with any other topic.  A quick (and probably incomplete) scan of this blog shows we’ve written [...]

    2 Comments 1 Star
  • Dec 22 2011

    Unwrapping early presents, wrapping up ’11 Health Wonk Review series

    A sleigh led by a dog. Hey, the red-nosed reindeer had nothing on this mutt.  Like Rudolph’s maiden voyage with the fat man, this is the Watchdog’s first time hosting the Wonk Review.  So buckle up for a wild ride.     Man, there’s a lot in Santa’s bag:  unbundling the bundle in the jungle, [...]

    3 Comments 1 Star
  • Dec 16 2011

    Come to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap…or play with his robotic surgery system

    The Watchdog’s elves are everywhere this Christmas season, and one of them reports that a New Jersey medical center is promoting its robotic surgery system in a very upscale mall. This particular elf took a photo to send to Watchdog Santa. It turns out that a local news website added to the medical center’s free [...]

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  • Nov 8 2011

    “$430 Million Proton Beam Center War” – latest chapter playing out in San Diego

    I have written many times on this blog about one shining example of the medical arms race – the slow (some would say not so slow), steady, proliferation of huge and hugely expensive proton beam radiation facilities in medical centers in the US. I have written about how the proliferation never seems to occur in [...]

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  • Nov 2 2011

    A radio journalism ethics issue that often involves health care products

    A column on the website of the Radio Television Digital News Association raises questions about the widespread practice of radio news anchors reading commercials on the air. Excerpts: “The principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity and public accountability are in danger with this practice. We are crossing the line, throwing ourselves into the position of becoming [...]

    1 Comment
  • Oct 10 2011

    Embargo Watch blog posts “What NOT to do in a PR campaign”

    The blog announces that Vicks VapoRub sent about $400 in goodies to a Reuters writer – not even a fulltime employee. One wonder how many other journalists received these gifts. EW writes: “Product samples are one thing, if they’re of minimal value and a reporter needs them to write about a new release – although [...]

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