Health News Review
  • Aug 6 2005

    Can’t mix news and PR jobs

    This is becoming a recurring theme: journalists working in news rooms while also doing paid public relations work. A Minneapolis-St. Paul TV anchor did it. A Nashville TV reporter did it. (Although she called me yesterday to explain that she’s not doing it anymore.) And now Detroit Medical Center announced that it has named a former WDIV-TV anchorman to be its communication director, “providing guidance on media issues and ser…

  • 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…

  • Nov 4 2013

    The Economics & Politics of Drugs for Mild Hypertension

    …#8220;I think that the entire conclusion of this analysis is flawed. It really has no clinical importance, [and] it should not be adopted by any practicing physician.” It should be noted that Dr. White has had financial relationships with 15 drug companies that make blood pressure lowering medications, topping the eight of Dr. Oparil. Cochrane is an elite journal in evidence-based medicine, and the review of drugs for mild hypertension had …

  • Jul 10 2013

    Some skeptical views of NYT front page “race for cholesterol drug” story

    … developers’ mouths, we should be skeptical anyway.  So why the front page story? “This is our top priority,” said Dr. Andrew Plump, the head of translational medicine at Sanofi. “Nothing else we are doing has the same public health impact.” What public health impact?  The drugs have had no public health impact yet.  “Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, the director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, estimates that even if the drugs …

  • 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…

  • Aug 30 2010

    Story of Medtronic’s Infuse product – from revolutionary advance to public health alert

    …tion for Informed Medical Decision Making in Boston in May. John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel hammers one of these issues, looking at how Medtronic’s Infuse product “went from revolutionary advance to public health alert.” Here’s his story on MedPageToday.com. His entire “Side Effects: Money, Medicine and Patients” series is indexed on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website. The image below is fr…

  • 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 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…

  • Oct 3 2013

    Medical ethics case study: Speculating on Public Figure’s Mental Health

    Dr. John Henning Schumann writes on the AMA’s Virtual Mentor Journal of Ethics website, “Speculating on a Public Figure’s Mental Health.” Schumann, who is dabbling in radio himself these days, focuses on a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine who was interviewed on the radio about her theories about what happened when a 16-year-old tenth grader went to school with a gun, killed two classmates, and injured seve…

  • Feb 23 2011

    Minnesota Public Radio applies truth squad to former Gov’s health care claims

    Minnesota Public Radio’s Lorna Benson recently reported: “As he prepares for a possible run for the presidency, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been touting the success of Minnesota’s home-grown health reforms during his national book tour. Pawlenty, a Republican, said the state has designed a good blueprint for reining in costs that the rest of the nation should follow. While it’s true that Minnesota has been experimentin…




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