NOTE TO READERS: When this project lost substantial funding at the end of 2018, I lost the ability to continue publishing criteria-driven news story reviews and PR news release reviews - once the bread-and-butter of the site going back to 2006. The 3,200 archived reviews, while still educational, are getting old and difficult for me to technically maintain on the back end of the website. So I am announcing that I plan to remove these reviews from the site by April 1, 2021. The blog and the toolkit - two of the most popular features on the site - will remain. If you wish to peruse the reviews before they disappear, please do so by the end of March 2021. After that date you may still be able to access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine -

Thousands go to

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First day traffic to the new website was strong yesterday, with thousands of journalists and consumers visiting the site.

Public comment has been overwhelmingly positive.

Merrill Goozner of the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote on his blog: “…I’m hoping a new effort by journalism professor Gary Schwitzer of the University of Minnesota has some impact on the profession. … He’s deployed several graduate students to monitor stories in dozens of newspapers and broadcasts and grade them with one to five stars — just like the movies! By hacking around his website for a few minutes, I quickly discovered that the grades were based on solid, objective evaluation criteria. Any reporter looking to see why their work earned a poor rating could learn a lot by delving into the details of the critique.

Schwitzer, a former journalist who works closely with the Association of Health Care Journalists, goes to great lengths to explain that he isn’t trying to belittle the reporters whose work is highlighted (I saw at least one got five stars). “We hope that U.S. journalists find our reviews helpful and accept the constructive criticism,” he writes. “This project is intended to support excellence in health and medical journalism.”

I wish him well in his efforts. Health care journalism has to get off the dead end track of reporting the latest study du jour, which is a one-way ticket to flacking for the drug industry. If there are any reporters reading this blog, I encourage you to check out his site. It’s got a lot to offer.”

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Comments (2)

Please note, comments are no longer published through this website. All previously made comments are still archived and available for viewing through select posts.

charlotte sherman

April 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

thank you for the invaluable information you are disseminating.