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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Aug 25 2010

    NYT’s new public editor settles in with criticism of paper’s Alzheimer’s test story

    The New York Times’ new public editor (or ombudsman), Arthur S. Brisbane, writes that his blog “opens with an entry in the field of science, something my mama told me never to do.” Actually, we hope to see much of this. His opening target: the paper’s own front-page story of Aug. 10 by science reporter Gina Kolata, headlined “In Spinal Test, Early Warning on Alzheimer’s,” with a subhead that said ̶…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Feb 20 2014

    “Medical Matters” program debuts on Public Radio Tulsa

    I’m pleased to be part of a radio series on Public Radio Tulsa for at least the next four weeks.  It’s called “Medical Matters,” hosted by Dr. John Schumann. The series debuts today. Each week, he’ll ask me to review 3 or 4 health care stories that caught my eye. You can listen by clicking on the longer “Listen” link on this page. ————————- Tweet Follow …

  • Apr 29 2011

    CBC Radio and Minnesota Public Radio profile

    Our work was featured on two prominent radio programs. The CBC “White Coat Black Art” program interviewed me for the last 7 minutes of a half hour theme show on healthy skepticism. The program audio can be heard here. And Minnesota Public Radio news director Mike Edgerly interviewed me for an hour on the MPR Midday program. …

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