3/1/2006

Ethical concerns about holes in the news/ad wall

The wall that once existed between news and advertising has many gaping holes in it. The Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog website says that some readers of the Charlotte News & Observer were bothered by the paper’s handling of two pieces on the GlaxoSmithKline drug company this past Sunday. The website says: “Big pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline […]

2/23/2006

Milwaukee TV medical reporter canned

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee dismissed its medical reporter Kimberly Kane last week. Kane had worked at the station for seven years. The station’s news director did not respond to the newspaper’s e-mails asking about the reporter’s status. The TV reporter told the newspaper in an e-mail: “When the most recent administration […]

2/22/2006

Twin Cities media ready to cure diabetes – even if the science isn't there yet

University of Minnesota researchers announced Sunday that they were able to reverse diabetes in monkeys by transplanting insulin-producing cells from pigs. The Star Tribune’s sub-head read, “A new study raises the potential for an endless supply of insulin-producing cells to cure the disease that affects 20 million Americans.” Mind you, this work was done on […]

2/14/2006

Looking for conflicts of interest

The Center for Science in the Public Interest offers a newsletter called “Integrity in Science Watch.â€? You can subscribe by writing to: science@cspinet.org. Last week’s newsletter had this item: New York Times Fails To Disclose Researcher’s Ties to Antidepressant Makers A new study published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine showed an […]

2/12/2006

"Baked Kolata, Hold the Caveats"

There’s a thoughtful news criticism piece on the CJR Daily website. It’s headlined, “A Heaping Serving of Baked Kolata, Hold the Caveats.â€? It questions why the New York Times put on its front page Gina Kolata’s story on a study questioning the impact of low-fat diets on postmenopausal women. Meantime, the piece explains that the […]

12/21/2005

Top ten health/health care stories of 2005

The blog will be on hold for a few days over the holidays. But first, here is my list of the top ten stories in health, health care, medicine and science over this past year. 1. Conflicts of interest in health care, medicine, research (just one example: the recent news from the Cleveland Clinic) 2. […]

12/16/2005

Kudos to ABC for primetime report on uninsured

A special tip of the hat to ABC News for last night’s one-hour special, “Peter Jennings Reporting: Breakdown — America’s Health Insurance Crisis.” It was the last report Jennings worked on before he died. “Over the course of Peter’s long career at ABC News he made more than 60 prime-time documentaries, many of them covering […]

12/1/2005

Gannett TV stations push profits and ethical limits

That troublesomely fuzzy TV ethics line just keeps getting fuzzier. The Star Tribune reports on Minneapolis station KARE joining a list of other Gannett-owned stations around the country that charge advertisers to talk about their products on a talk show. Advertisers will pay KARE $2,000 to $2,5000 for 5-minute segments on the show. Station news […]

11/29/2005

NBC Today show hypes medical technologies

This week the NBC Today Show offers a series the likes of which makes my skin crawl. With 45-million uninsured Americans, the Today Show reports on “Saving Your Life: Modern Medical Miracles.” If a miracle were available but nobody could afford it or access it, would it still be a miracle? Riding the appeal of […]

11/28/2005

How the media caught Tamiflu

A journalist bemoans the lack of skepticism in news coverage of Tamiflu in last week’s edition of the BMJ. “From a bit of a dud to the world’s most sought after drug in the space of six months” is the way the writer describes Tamiflu’s recent fate. “Despite a silly name and a lack of […]

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