Mirror Award goes to HealthNewsReview.org

Just back from New York, where one of the inaugural Mirror Awards honoring excellence in media industry reporting was given to HealthNewsReview.org. The other awards went to: Clive Thompson, New York Magazine Philip Weiss, New York Magazine David Carr, The New York Times Andreas Kluth, The Economist American Journalism Review Dean Miller, Nieman Reports Lifetime […]


HealthNewsReview.org honored again

One of my day jobs – as publisher of HealthNewsReview.org – has been rewarding and the work has also been awarded – again. The site has been named a finalist in the first-ever Mirror Awards honoring excellence in media industry reporting. There are 22 other finalists, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, National […]


No surprise: Americans confused about cancer

A study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reports widespread confusion in America about cancer and cancer prevention. Nearly half of respondents (47.1%) agreed that “It seems like almost everything causes cancer,” 27.0% agreed that “There’s not much people can do to lower their chances of getting cancer,” and 71.5% agreed that “There […]


Unhealthy advocacy: journalists and screening tests

The Poynter Institute website has published my overview of some journalists’ apparent pro-screening bias in coverage of some screening tests. The incidents I’ve tracked involve screening for cancer (prostate, breast, lung, colon) but also for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The piece documents more than a dozen incidents of pro-screening stories and gets perspectives from some […]


Michael Moore's "SICKO" has 'em on the edge of their seats already

Documentary producer Michael Moore’s new film, “Sicko,” will be in theaters this summer, he promises. But it’s already getting lots of publicity, some of which he’s drumming up around a Treasury Department investigation of Moore. It involves Moore’s team taking some sick Sept. 11 rescue workers to Cuba for one segment in the film. Moore’s […]


The true harms of a false positive test

The London Daily Mail reports on a man diagnosed with cancer who was told he had less than a year to live. “The 62-year-old council worker quit his job, sold his car, stopped paying his mortgage and dug into his life savings so he could treat himself and relatives to expensive restaurant meals. He even […]


Medicare rejects depression device the media helped hype

Wish I had a nickel for every story about vagus nerve stimulation that trumpeted it as a treatment for depression. This week, Medicare rejected Cyberonics’ implantable nerve stimulator, saying the device, the VNS Therapy System, hasn’t been shown to be necessary. The $25,000 device is already approved for epilepsy. Cyberonics wanted to expand its use. […]


Lack of sustained coverage of health care crisis

Former Philadelphia Inquirer executive editor Gene Roberts, whose paper won 17 Pulitzers in his 18 years in that job, was asked in an interview, “Are there any beats you would suggest the mainstream press is missing today?â€? Roberts: “One of those is the medical crisis in the country. People write about it, but I don’t […]


News coverage of a new prostate cancer test

For a look at how two different news organizations covered the news of a potentially more accurate test for prostate cancer, see the HealthNewsReview.org review of a weaker ABC News story in contrast with the review of a stronger Baltimore Sun story. However, neither story adequately addressed the fact that while a more accurate test […]

6 4/25/2007

Chicago Sun-Times' imprudent prostate campaign

I am continuing my criticism of journalists and news organizations that crusade for screening tests – seemingly oblivious to the controversies and the debates that swirl around many of these screening tests. When a news organization takes an advocacy stance for a controversial cause, it should know the facts and the facts are that some […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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