Health News Review
  • Apr 6 2012

    The challenges of science journalism in the “big data” age

    Regular readers of this blog or visitors to this site should know about science journalist Erika Check Hayden’s piece, “What the ‘limits of DNA’ story reveals about the challenges of science journalism in the ‘big data’ age.” You should read the entire piece, but here are excerpts: On 2 April, Science Translational Medicine published a [...]

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  • Mar 28 2012

    A role model for Public Information Officers: best wishes, Earle Holland

    We often write about bad news releases and weak science overpromoted by academic medical centers and the like. And then there’s the work of Earle Holland. Or rather, there was the work of Earle Holland for 33 years at Ohio State University. He’s leaving April 6, after being told that “that leadership wanted to take [...]

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  • Feb 14 2012

    Why elevate Adele’s surgeon to “miracle” status?

    This is how my local CBS station, WCCO in Minneapolis, teased and promoted a story about the surgeon who worked on Adele’s vocal cord polyp.  Miracle?  Really?  Why do journalists feel the need to elevate stories about celebrities and their doctors to this level? For almost six years, we have worked through our HealthNewsReview.org project [...]

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  • Feb 9 2012

    Brief reflection on news industry economic woes

    This is just a periodic reminder to our readers:  yes, we are aware of the difficult economic times many are facing in the news industry. The news of the Washington Post offering staff buyouts for the fifth time in recent years is just the latest example. Sometimes journalists will write to us, defensively, saying things [...]

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  • Jan 20 2012

    Do health care news readers need an “information diet”?

    As we close out the week and prepare to head to a beach for a desperately-needed mid-winter break, here are some catch-up items we meant to write about earlier. NPR interview with author of The Information Diet making the case for “conscious consumption of news and information.”  We certainly make that case for health news [...]

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  • Jan 17 2012

    Unfiltered medical center news releases on Chicago Sun-Times website

    A journalist brought this to my attention.  It’s a case of dueling messages on the websites of the two big Chicago newspapers. One is a news story.  The other is nothing but an unvetted health care industry news release. On a Chicago Sun-Times website, a local medical center posts a news release touting its “new [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Dec 15 2011

    Sad state of local TV news

    This isn’t a health news story. But it could have been. TVSpy.com estimates that 27 local TV stations across the country all used the same script for filler material. They reported: Conan O’Brien poked fun at content-sharing in local news this week, showing a clip on his show of several anchors repeating the same phrase [...]

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