Health News Review
  • Jan 30 2015

    Click-bait “science” news: binge-watching-TV analysis

    The NBC website posted a story, “Binge-watching TV helps some people beat the blues.” Not only did the headline make this claim, but the second sentence did, too:  “…it may also be a way for some people who feel depressed or lonely to beat the blues.” Hmmm. Our managing editor, Kevin Lomangino, and I [...]

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  • Jan 19 2015

    Tribune Company drags down LA Times health news effort by plunking TV story inside of it

    [Correction:  As the first commenter (at the bottom of the page) points out, I was outdated and inaccurate in referring to The Tribune Company.  There are now two companies:  Tribune Media and Tribune Publishing.  Nonetheless, the placement of this Tribune Media property's TV story within the Tribune Publishing property's newspaper/online story was odd and unhelpful [...]

  • Jan 14 2015

    Important and rare: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story

    On ScienceInsider for the American Association for the Advance of Science, science writer Jennifer Couzin-Frankel writes, “Bad luck and cancer: A science reporter’s reflections on a controversial story.” She looks back at the brouhaha caused by a paper published in Science on January 2, by a news release from Johns Hopkins University (home of the paper’s [...]

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  • Jan 11 2015

    Sunday summary of other noteworthy health care news

    This blog took a back-seat this week to the re-launch of our systematic, criteria-driven news story reviews.  But here’s come catch-up: Big-time conflict of interest problems at NBC News, as reported by the Washington Post, “Maria Shriver reported on a movie about Alzheimer’s for NBC. She didn’t mention she’s one of the film’s executive producers.” [...]

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  • Jan 6 2015

    Paul Raeburn’s farewell on Knight Science Journalism Tracker: Three reasons why good science writing is worth defending

    I’m not going to lift excerpts from Paul Raeburn’s farewell post on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker.  I think you should read it yourself in its entirety. I’ve known Paul a long time and have deep admiration for his work. Our unrelated efforts on and on the Knight Science Journalism Tracker were so similar [...]

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  • Jan 5 2015

    Alan Cassels guest blog post: PSA test – good myths die hard

    Alan Cassels, who is a pharmaceutical policy researcher at the University of Victoria, British Columbia,  a journalist, and author of the books  “Seeking Sickness” and “The ABCs of Disease Mongering”,  sent in this unsolicited guest blog post.  Soon, we hope to solicit more pieces from Cassels. Matthew Tully wrote on the Indy Star website on December 16th, [...]

  • Jul 13 2014

    Journalists jump at chance to say “fart” in a story; botch what study & news release said

    This is like the old game of telephone. Communicate a message from person to person to person and watch how the original message disintegrates. The message in question started as a basic research paper in the journal Medicinal Chemistry Communications – entitled: The synthesis and functional evaluation of a mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide donor, (10-oxo-10-(4-(3-thioxo-3H-1,2-dithiol-5-yl)phenoxy)decyl)triphenylphosphonium bromide [...]

  • Apr 10 2014

    Last remaining U.S. press council closes next month

    On, Craig Silverman writes about the end next month of the Washington News Council, the last such body to conduct independent reviews of consumer complaints about news coverage. Excerpts: “Who can oversee ethics on blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms?” (John Hamer, who co-founded the WNC and serves as [...]

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  • Feb 19 2014

    Health/science news criticism: “nothing at stake here except the survival of credible journalism”

    Paul Raeburn of the Knight Science Journalism Tracker wrote: The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it will stop reprinting university and other press releases in its Health & Science section following the disclosure of the practice by the Knight Science Journalism Tracker last Friday. The fact that a blogger like Raeburn had to be the [...]

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  • Jan 7 2014

    The passing of TIME and of firewalls between editorial & business sides

    Andrew Sullivan called it “Journalism’s Surrender” on his blog. “The surrender of journalism to advertizing and public relations – not alliance with, but surrender to – was the biggest media story of 2013 that the media almost didn’t cover at all. But it’s right there in black and white, if buried on the slowest news [...]

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