British website gets “sassy” on Twitter about flawed health care journalism

London-based BuzzFeed reporter Jamie Ross writes, “The NHS Is Calling Out Journalists On Twitter For Getting Their Facts Wrong.”

The NHS is the British National Health Service.

The NHS contracts with a company called Bazian to look Behind the Headlines” on health news stories.

We’ve written several times about the project.  For example:

The project has apparently kicked it up a notch in its social media efforts, using Twitter ads to announce their latest reviews – as shown in the BuzzFeed story.  Example:


Back in December, A US-based BuzzFeed reporter published, “11 Ways to Spot Bogus Headlines About Your Health,” and touched on some of our history: over 9 years we’ve posted nearly 2,000 systematic reviews of US health care news stories and another 2,000 blog posts about health care news, PR, advertising, marketing, and medical journal practices.

And, in fact, as of the start of this year, we’ve now begun looking at BuzzFeed stories. The first such review gave a score of 3 stars out of a possible 5.   That’s 6 criteria graded satisfactory out of 10.  We operate a bit differently than Behind the Headlines.  They generally mention a news story as their “hook” at the top, then delve into the quality of the underlying science.  We spend more time addressing point-by-point critiques of the journalism, in an attempt to help both journalists, and the public they serve, to better analyze the evidence.


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