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8/18/2008

More than everyone in the world will be obese

I love Carl Bialik’s “Numbers Guy” column in the Wall Street Journal and last week he had another gem, headlined, “Obesity Study Looks Thin.” Excerpt: In 40 years, every single American could be overweight, according to a recent study. Employing that same logic, 13 out of every 10 adult Americans by then won’t have landlines. […]

8/16/2008

Sick sensationalism

The Star Tribune this week published a story under the headline, “A New Heart, A Dark Heart?” (It’s interesting that this headline does not appear on the online version today, although search engines still find the original headline.) The headline is pretty clearly meant to imply that a newly-transplanted heart drove a young man to […]

8/15/2008

Hospital ads and hospital hype

See Maggie Mahar’s entry on the HealthBeat blog. And for a little wisdom of the crowd, here is one online reader reaction to Maggie’s post: “Our local CBS station has a regular feature called “Breakthroughs Everyday” featuring one healthcare network. I’ve written to the news director at this station requesting, in the interests of fair […]

8/7/2008

Yes, still another case of "journalist" pro-screening bias

Over on the HealthNewsReview.org website, we’ve reviewed another example of a journalist giving pro-screening test advice that is not supported by medical evidence. This time it was the CBS Early Show, using physician-“reporter” Dr. Holly Phillips from WCBS-TV in New York to do a followup on actress Christina Applegate’s diagnosis of breast cancer. We said […]

8/6/2008

You can find conflict-free experts in health care, medicine and science

We’ve posted the following Publisher’s Note on HealthNewsReview.org. Conflicts of interest among sources of health/medical news and information represent an enormous – and growing – problem. Health care consumers, and news consumers, are often not told of the biases that may exist in medical research, in clinical care, or in health care professionals’ continuing medical […]

8/5/2008

Ethical small-town journalist gets well-deserved big-time award

It is a joy to pass along news like this: “He no longer has a job directing news, but Glen Mabie now has an ethics award to add to his journalism credits. The Society of Professional Journalists announced Monday that Mabie, former WEAU TV-13 news director, won the organization’s national Ethics in Journalism Award, awarded […]

8/5/2008

New prostate recommendations – new lessons for crusading journalists

Just four days ago, in response to an NBC News story in which reporter George Lewis recommended that all men over age 50 get annual prostate exams including the PSA blood test, I cited the statement of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to show that Lewis’ advice was not based in evidence: The USPSTF […]

8/2/2008

Cell phone cancer scare on Larry King Live

The Cancer Letter (subscription required) does its usual excellent job in reporting on the latest network TV free-for-all on cell phones and cancer. Excerpts: “A teaser for the Larry King Live news show July 29 got to the quintessence of the scientific controversy over cell phones: “A prominent cancer researcher says, ‘Put down that phone […]

8/1/2008

Awful week for health news on NBC

First, we send our sincere best wishes to NBC reporter George Lewis, who this week reported on his diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer. I have respected his work throughout his career. But the standards of sound journalism are not suspended when a reporter chooses to report on himself. Indeed, concern for balance should be […]

7/22/2008

Conflicts of interest among sources of health/medical news and information represent an enormous – and growing – problem.

Health care consumers, and news consumers, are often not told of the biases that may exist in medical research, in clinical care, or in health care professionals’ continuing medical education because of financial ties to drug companies and medical device manufacturers. Journalists, broadcasters, editors, and producers too often rely – wittingly or unwittingly – on […]

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