The German HealthNewsReview site launches in November

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Soon – as of November – there will be at least five international websites devoted to the same approach to improving health/medical/science journalism. Last week, in Dortmund, Germany, I met with Professor Holger Wormer (left in the picture below) of the University of Dortmund and freelance journalist Marcus Anhäuser (on the right in the photo), two principals in planning what will be called “ – the German HealthNewsReview.”


Last week, Wormer and Anhäuser brought in more than a dozen of the people who will be story reviewers for the German site. And I helped give them background on our US effort and offer some tips on how to apply our 10 standardized criteria when reviewing stories. (I remember clearly when I got this kind of help five years ago from Dr. David Henry, who helped found the Media Doctor Australia site.) They were an impressive group – all journalists – but many with advanced science or medical degrees. And they work in many different media – online, print, radio, TV, books.

German HNR team.jpg

The German team has some interesting new twists – some of which I may adopt. But each new player in this international field has brought something new and important to the effort. Here’s a screen shot of their draft home page. Remember: the site won’t go live until some time in November.


Interesting personal side note. If you think American football fans are crazy, look at the picture below of two objects on the adjoining desks of two people at the University of Dortmund who are involved in this web project. The bunnies represent different soccer teams – and the differing fan interests of the two office-mates. Clearly, from the picture, one team got the better of the other in recent competition – at least in the office if not on the field!


I’m glad I don’t share an office with a Bears fan prior to next week’s Monday Night Football showdown between the Packers and Bears.

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Dr. Thomas Kron

September 23, 2010 at 1:41 am

Dear Gary,
all the German members are journalists, but Klaus Koch is working at the so called “IQWiG”, which isn`t an independent institute. Some people think it’s a very special kind of lobby group.

Marcus Anhäuser

September 23, 2010 at 9:47 am

Dear Thomas Kron,
what’s your problem with having Klaus Koch in this group?
Klaus works since three years for the IQWIG. Before that he worked more than ten years as a medical journalist for Süddeutsche Zeitung and Ärzteblatt and was well known for his independent and critical writing. He is one of the best health journalists I know here in Germany, he was one of these guys who established EbM-thinking in German health journalism.
You should know him as former Editor-in-Chief of the Ärzte-Zeitung?
So what could be wrong having him in the group?
Perhaps you can explain your concerns.

Dr. Thomas Kron

October 12, 2010 at 9:38 am

Dear Marcus Anhäuser
I don’t have any problem with him. He is a good journalist, there is not doubt about it. That’s one reason he has been invited for by the “Fach- und Standespresse” to a meeting in the next month, talking about EBM. But he isn’t independent, because the so called “IQWiG” isn’t independent, as everbody being involved in this discussion in Germany knows. It’s simply a matter of transparency – or possible conflicts of interest. And after more than 20 years of being involved in this kind of business, I don’t believe that there is anybody without interests.