Health News Review
  • May 21 2010

    Reporting or reading news from a medical meeting? Read this first – guest post by Ivan Oransky

    …his context, it is not only appropriate but desirable that scientists share work in progress to get feedback and ideas for moving forward, perhaps the purest form of peer review. On the other hand, the meetings serve a public relations purpose, generating support for the meetings’ sponsors and for the agencies funding research, and drawing attention to individual investigators and their institutions. I don’t think those two purposes a…

  • Nov 23 2009

    10 things that stand out from the mammography week to remember (forget?)

    217;ve reported on this before and last week provided overwhelming new evidence. (Mind you – I said “many”, not “all.”) 4. The USPSTF, which is a collection of independent experts, has no public relations arm. They simply review the evidence and publish their recommendations. 5. The public relations machinery of the American Cancer Society, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology – and other group…

  • Dec 26 2012

    3rd annual year-ender on health care PR crap we receive

    …tens to make it more difficult for health journalists to maintain the wall that once existed between the editorial and advertising sides of the business, and perhaps less able to see through or deflect the influence of public relations professionals. For journalism, and for the audience it serves, this may be the most troubling trend today. … The danger is that with the increasing constraints in many newsrooms, the PR folks may be winning more of…

  • Mar 23 2015

    Sponsored journalist training on “precision medicine”: Zeroing in on a conflict of interest

    …workshop was funded by Pfizer. We and others have criticized that ongoing sponsorship before. For example, here, here, here, here and here.) Johnson reached out to a former AP colleague, Sharon Theimer, who now works in media relations at Mayo. “So I started talking with Mayo about doing a program at their campus, which struck me as an incredible opportunity for journalists, to do a program out at the Mayo campus. So Sharon and I batted around so…

  • Jan 5 2015

    The team is back at work with big plans for 2015

    … which it was not. Now, though, the blog will be more vibrant than ever. We will complement our systematic reviews of both news stories and news releases by blogging about other aspects of journalism and of health care public relations, advertising and marketing. Look for major new contributions from important voices such as veteran journalist Trudy Lieberman, bioethicist Steve Miles, and others. Journalism workshops, podcasts, and more I plan to…

  • Jul 9 2011

    My PLoS Blogs guest post: The effects of churnalism on health news & the public

    Brian Mossop, Community Manager at The Public Library of Science (PLoS), urged me to submit a guest blog post on the terrific collection of PLoS Blogs. What I gave him recaptured the guts of a journal article submission summarizing the first five years’ work on – a submission that was rejected by the journal editors despite glowingly positive comments from peer reviewers. The editors thought the term “ch…

  • Jan 27 2011

    A view from Australia of an imbalanced public discussion on prostate cancer screening

    Australian journalist Melissa Sweet offers an alternative perspective to that given by an Australian politician who publicly encouraged men to be screened for prostate cancer based on his own personal experience. The politician wrote: “It is an easy choice really.” But Sweet countered: “Actually, it’s not an easy choice at all, and someone in (his) position, of influence and with access to high quality information, sho…

  • Oct 1 2014

    My article kicks off 5th Annual Health Literacy Month Blog Series

    …e Throat, Head, Neck Cancer Screenings Promoted Without Full Info News story shines light on hospitals promoting questionable screenings Public Citizen has written to 20 hospitals in eight states urging them to “sever their relationships with a screening company because the company’s heavily promoted, community-wide cardiovascular health screening programs are unethical and are much more likely to do harm than good. “The ethics of highly-adver…

  • Jun 22 2012

    Journal launches big series on “Big Food” and public health

    …to problems not just of food production but of malnutrition, obesity, and even poverty. The legitimization of food companies as global health experts is further fueled by the growing number of private-public partnerships with public health organizations, ostensibly designed to foster collaborative action to improve people’s health and wellbeing. And yet food companies’ primary obligation is to drive profit by selling food. Why does th…

  • Nov 25 2009

    Another Washington Post column that misleads readers on mammography

    …clumsy blow” that “wiped out much of the progress” in breast cancer detection. Huh? It got worse, as he wrote:. “With a drumbeat of recommendations raising doubts about various cancer screenings, the public could easily get the mistaken impression that all cancer screening is a waste of time and money.” Stop the foolishness. The USPSTF said nothing about any cancer screening being a waste of time and money. In fa…

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