December 29, 2015
2015 year-end report card on the news stories and news releases we reviewed
Our team applied our 10 standardized criteria to review more than 225 news stories and more than 100 news releases in 2015.
Reminder: we don’t review every kind of health news story. We only review stories that include claims about interventions: treatments, tests, products or procedures. And we only review stories reported by the set list of news organizations that we review regularly.
Below are the report cards:
News story grades 2006-2015 by all 10 criteria – click on image to see larger file
Average star score for 2,113 stories from 2006-2015 – click on image to see larger file
On our website, you can find an interactive chart that shows average grades for all of the more than 2,100 stories we’ve reviewed in our almost 10 year history. You can also compare any given news organization’s average with that overall aggregate average. You may find that we haven’t found time to review some of the news organizations very many times yet; there is just too much health care news for us to manage on many days. This chart is only for journalism – for news stories.
Now the news release report card:
News release grades for the 1st 103 releases by all 10 criteria – click on file for larger image
Average star score for 103 news releases reviewed in 2015 – click on file for larger image
About a month ago, managing editor Kevin Lomangino wrote a brief overview of some of the trends we’ve observed while reviewing news releases this year.
Everything we do – and have done for nearly the past 10 years on this project – is focused on trying to improve media messages by offering constructive criticism. No one likes to be criticized. I like the following thoughts about the value of criticism:
- Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill
- The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. – Norman Vincent Peale, minister, author
- For some reason if we hear 100 praises and one criticism, we focus on that one hurtful thing. – Carmen Electra, model/actress
- Author Robert Fanney: “Writers shouldn’t fear criticism. Instead, they should fear silence. Criticism is healthy. It gets people thinking about your work and, even better, it gets them talking and arguing. But as for silence — it is the greatest killer of writers.”