“Boston Scientific says atrial fibrillation device in demand,” stated the Reuters health news headline.
It may have been intended as a “Business” story but it’s labeled as a “Health” story. And we came across it just as many others would – in a web search – where consumer health news is mixed right in with business or stock market news.
No matter how you categorize it, it was a completely one-sided story, as single source stories predictably are. And even if it was intended as a business/stock market story, don’t investors deserve independent perspectives as much as patients or consumers do?
So it describes a Watchman device for atrial fibrillation treatment. And it reports:
All of which may be true. But good journalism seeks independent expert perspectives. And none appeared in this story.
Journalism? Or cheerleading?
When journalism turns over its platform entirely to a corporate voice, hasn’t it just become advertising or public relations?
For a different perspective, read Larry Husten’s Cardiobrief.org piece from just last month, “FDA Approves Watchman Device From Boston Scientific After A Long And Strange Trip.”
Addendum on May 5: Or see this questioning piece of journalism from Markian Hawryluk at the Houston Chronicle, “New device effective in preventing blood clots, but experts fear overuse, high costs.”