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 -

Why I’m optimistic about future of health care journalism – 2nd of 5 part video series

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About 70% of more than 1,500 stories reviewed were graded as unsatisfactory by our reviewers for:

• failing to adequately discuss costs

• failing to adequately quantify benefits (often exaggerating benefits)
• failing to adequately quantify harms (often minimizing or ignoring harms)

Yet – after our team of reviewers has worked on these reviews every day for more than 5 years – I’m optimistic because the flaws that have been identified are not that difficult to fix. A growing number of training opportunities – such as the NIH Medicine in the Media event – can help journalists struggling with how to evaluate evidence and how to scrutinize the myriad claims made about health care interventions.

In part 3 of this series tomorrow, I’ll remind journalists of the help that’s available to them in most communities to evaluate evidence and to scrutinize claims.

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