Health News Review
  • Jul 17 2012

    Cocoa as Sunscreen? PR Firm Shamelessly Hypes Tiny Study

    …———– With the summer beach season in full swing, it’s time to starting thinking about ways to reduce your exposure to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Thankfully, the folks at Draznin Public Relations are ready to educate you about an important new strategy for protecting your skin from sun damage: Eat more cocoa! In a recent press release, Draznin offered to clue me in to the findings of a “standout” trial that…

  • Oct 22 2013

    When doctors don’t discuss harms of screening tests with patients

    …papers in journals that overestimate the effectiveness of screening.  And so communication with patients suffers. And, as we consistently point out, many media messages – in journalism, advertising, marketing and public relations – lead to even worse public understanding. Here’s a Reuters Health story on the paper – one of the only mainstream news stories we saw on it. Here are some things we’ve published in the past…

  • Jan 20 2010

    Kaiser Health News: Why public support for health care reform faltered

    A team of reporters from KHN delivers this thoughtful piece. Excerpts: “There’s nothing in (the proposals) the average person could understand about why your costs would be lower,” says Robert Blendon, professor of health policy at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “They don’t even have good illustrations about how it would be cheaper. They did not find a way to save money for people with job-based insuran…

  • Aug 4 2009

    A growing public health threat: network TV morning health news segments

    …ce covers it. If your premiums went up because she was in your insurance pool, would you be happy? NBC Today show Lose weight while you sleep? February 9, 2009 Rating: (0 stars out of possible 5) NBC gave 5.5 minutes of free publicity to Glamour magazine’s pseudo-scientific experiment, then made bold, baseless projections that women would “probably add about 7 years to their life”. Amazing. Paralysis & spinal cord injury …

  • Jul 25 2009

    Copycat stories on pressing public health problem – cankles? OMG!

    So the Wall Street Journal publishes a story on “cankles” – chubby lower legs. Well of course that’s too much for morning TV shows to resist copying. So ABC’s Good Morning America airs a segment in which they at least acknowledge they’re simply copying the WSJ. The CBS Early Show had to join in the discussion of this vitally important public health concern as well. But both the ABC and CBS segments featu…

  • Jun 26 2014

    Questioning some of the ways in which new drug treatments are reported to the public

    …ders that.” The suggestions he makes are some of the same we’ve made over the past 8 years of reviewing thousands of health care news stories.  It’s nice to hear another voice regularly trying to improve the public dialogue. ——————— Tweet Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/garyschwitzer https://twitter.com/healthnewsrevu and on Facebook.     …

  • Sep 29 2009

    Smart health care consumer listeners on Wisconsin Public Radio

    My appearance early this morning on the statewide Wisconsin Public Radio network can now be heard online (Real Player file). The network asked me to talk about – and take calls from listeners about – my HealthNewsReview.org project. I probably talked too much and didn’t leave enough time for calls, but the ones we took on the air reflected an intelligence and a healthy skepticism that was refreshing. …

  • Sep 20 2010

    “Future of Health Journalism” in Public Health Forum journal

    I know this probably feels like Germany day on this blog. But what’s wrong with that? In writing earlier about my visit to Dortmund last week, I remembered that some of my brief thoughts on “The Future of Health Journalism” were published in the German journal, Public Health Forum, this month. Summary: “The future of health journalism will be determined by which roles journalists choose for themselves: cheerleader or …

  • Jan 2 2013

    Columbia Journalism Review cover story on health journalism that “grossly mislead(s) the public”

    …shed scientific findings.But personal-health journalists have fallen into a trap. Even while following what are considered the guidelines of good science reporting, they still manage to write articles that grossly mislead the public, often in ways that can lead to poor health decisions with catastrophic consequences. Blame a combination of the special nature of health advice, serious challenges in medical research, and the failure of science jour…

  • Mar 28 2012

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

    …ends to conflict with those who wish to emphasize only message points and slogans. While there is certainly a place in the world for persuasive communications, I’ve always thought that it was a questionable approach for public institutions telling the research story. The fact that I could maintain that stance for this long is admittedly remarkable. In the 33 years at OSU, I have reported on the great work of hundreds of geniuses, taught sci…




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