Crusading for colon cancer without evidence

Katie Couric and the NBC Today Show are at it again, with a weeklong series entitled “Confronting Colon Cancer,” and a subtheme of “The Fight For More Screening.” I heard today’s segment and do not yet have access to a transcript. But what I heard was a confusing jumble of recommendations – some of which […]


Cascade of cardiology stories

Sorry I’ve been a little slow with posts in the past few days. First, there’s digging out from under a foot of new snow in the Twin Cities. Second, there’s digging out from under an avalanche of cardiology-related news coming out of the American College of Cardiology meeting. It reminds me of the excellent paper […]


More questions about TV health news

A study in this month’s American Journal of Managed Care (not to be published online until next week) confirms some of what I’ve reported in earlier studies: local TV health news is troublesome. (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a story on the study.) Researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyzed […]

2 3/4/2006

Health journalists can't rely on the news release

CJRDaily.org features an interview with Wall Street Journal health columnist Tara Parker-Pope. The interview focuses on her opinion that “a flawed communications effort led to widespread misinterpretation of results by the news media and the public” regarding the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and its findings on how low-fat diets, consumption of calcium and vitamin D, […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


"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.” 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 […]


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. […]


Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims

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