Last week, Connie St Louis of City University of London, was quoted in The Guardian:
“We’re always explaining new cures, explaining new science, but where are the guys who are really digging down, where are our Ivan Oranskys, where are our Gary Schweitzers [sic], we don’t have them. It’s all very much “here’s a new cancer drug”, and I’m not knocking that, it’s really important, but actually we’re in a very deficit model of journalism at the moment.”
Oransky is Reuters Health executive editor and has had several guest blog posts on this site.
Physician-journalist-media critic Ben Goldacre wrote in The Guardian today:
“It’s great to see people engaging with the serious issue of the media misleading the public on health advice, since despite major concerns, there has been almost no quantitative research on this in the UK. In the US there has been a lot more work, far bigger, and far better than our first start (a good place to start is Gary Schwitzer’s publications here). This research finds widespread problems and shortcomings in the information given to the public through mainstream media, as anyone would expect, although they analyse slightly different types of health claims. A 2008 research paper said: “in our evaluation of 500 US health news stories over 22 months, between 62%-77% of stories failed to adequately address costs, harms, benefits, the quality of the evidence, and the existence of other options when covering health care products and procedures.”