Health News Review
  • Jan 13 2015

    Don’t let news-release-copying journalists off the hook so easily. It’s journalism, not stenography.

    A BBC story keeps the “bad luck and cancer” story alive for at least another day, with a headline, “So is cancer mostly ‘bad luck’ or not?” The story begins: Headline-writers and news bulletin editors around the world just couldn’t get enough of a new study of cancer published on 2 January. “Two thirds of cancers are due [...]

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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 HealthNewsReview.org 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, [...]

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  • Jan 5 2015

    The HealthNewsReview.org team is back at work with big plans for 2015

    Starting today, for the first time in 19 months, we have a team in place again to systematically review certain types of health care news stories from a significant but limited number of news organizations. Review who we are and what we do I’ve revised our introductory page about how we rate health care news [...]

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  • Dec 22 2014

    Monday health news roundup: mostly gems, one dud

    I realize that I wrote about the following things on my Monday morning email digest, but if you don’t subscribe to that email, you didn’t see what we wrote.  (One solution:  sign up to subscribe to the emails.  It’s free.) Some things we saw that we really liked: Richard Smith’s feature in The BMJ,  “Are [...]

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  • Dec 16 2014

    As the worm turns – from scientific paper to news release to bad news coverage

    A journalist-friend asked me to comment on this.   The story, in the Daily Express of the UK, finally got around to explaining that the breathless claims made in the headline and subheadline were based on research in laboratory worms. Microscopic worms. The story states: “Although (the worm in question) is a long way from [...]

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  • Dec 9 2014

    Exaggeration in health science news releases – and what we’re going to do about it

    It’s difficult to imagine a journal article and an editorial that could set the stage for what we intend to do on this site in 2015 better than this paper and this editorial in The BMJ this week – about problems with health related science news releases. (Addendum almost 2 hours after embargo broke:  BMJ-provided [...]

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  • Dec 8 2014

    At last: new life, new funding, new initiatives, new people for HealthNewsReview.org

    I am very pleased to announce that this project has received a two-year, $1.3 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. I had hinted at this good news with some of you in recent weeks, but was not able to share details until the grant paperwork was signed. The LJAF, on its website, [...]

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  • Nov 24 2014

    A look at robotic surgery proliferation in Denmark

    Frederik Joelving, who once did outstanding work for ReutersHealth in the U.S., recently published a piece on robotic surgery in Politiken, a major newspaper in Denmark. A rough translation of the way the article concluded: “It may be difficult to reverse (the proliferation trend) if the large randomized trials that other countries are doing should [...]

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