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.