5/6/2008

Undisclosed conflicts of interest in media interviews

Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee have a piece in Slate today that asks, “Are doctors shilling for drug companies on NPR?” The piece begins: “A few weeks ago, devoted listeners of National Public Radio were treated to an episode of the award-winning radio series The Infinite Mind called “Prozac Nation: Revisited.” The segment featured four […]

5/4/2008

Texas hospital bans workers from reading critical newspaper series

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that administrators of the county’s public hospital system have banned workers from reading a newspaper series critical of the system – at least while they are at work. The paper reports that the hospital system blocked internet access to the Star-Telegram.com site. The newspaper says that three of its reporters […]

5/1/2008

Sex & Cereal

There are many very smart people scrutinizing health news coverage these days. Some of them populate the Chance News wiki based at Dartmouth College. Look at how one observer analyzed recent news coverage of the stories behind some of these headlines: The Independent: “Big breakfast is most important meal — if you want a baby […]

4/29/2008

The Healthy Skeptic – written by one who is

Here’s a book you should buy and read. University of California Press has published “The Healthy Skeptic: Çutting Through The Hype About Your Health,” by Robert Davis, PhD. Disclosure: Robert is my friend and trusted colleague. I hired him at CNN longer ago than either of us wants to remember. Just to give you a […]

4/27/2008

Re-design & new features on HealthNewsReview.org

Visit HealthNewsReview.org to see its entirely new design and new “Join the Discussion” forum, allowing for better dialogue among journalists, health care consumers, news consumers and others. The site is now two years old and has reviewed more than 540 stories.

4/19/2008

Alcohol & breast cancer stories worthy of lining the bird cage

I should have mentioned Sandy Szwarc’s blog, Junkfood Science, long ago. I am impressed by the depth and thoroughness of her analysis. This week she jumped all over news coverage of a study linking alcohol intake to breast cancer. You should read the entire post, but it begins: Does a single drink a day really […]

4/17/2008

60 Minutes piece on Kanzius cancer cure not worth 60 seconds

One of the worst stories by a major news organization on a health care topic was turned in by CBS’ 60 Minutes last Sunday with a piece it entitled on its website, “The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?” The story was reviewed on HealthNewsReview.org and given one of the lowest ratings possible. The review summary […]

4/4/2008

Disease mongering by Women’s Health magazine

Add Women’s Health magazine to my list of publications guilty of disease-mongering by advocating tests that are not supported by evidence – recommendations that run counter to those of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The article, “THE MEDICAL TESTS YOU SHOULD TAKE: Head-to-Toe Tune-Up” is not unlike those I’ve criticized on CNN, in the […]

4/2/2008

We should expect better from a medical journal

I’ve reported many times on news organizations hyping medical technologies. But this past week, a medical journal – BMJ – did the same thing in its “news” section, presenting only the fantastic potential of robotic surgery without any evidence – any quantification – of potential benefits and harms and without any discussion of costs. The […]

4/1/2008

Stop running scared

Shannon Brownlee on disease-mongering.

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