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In another episode in our ad hoc series of podcasts on how patients can be harmed by flawed news stories, we introduce another breast cancer patient story.
Melissa_Phipps-montage-blog-post_pageMelissa Phipps, 44, is a journalist, a mother of two sons, and, for the last year, a breast cancer patient. In the photos at right you see her at various stages, including losing her hair after chemotherapy.
Once AnneMarie Ciccarella gets going, there’s no stopping her. You may get a rant, and you may get more than you bargained for.
But you’ll definitely get a smart patient’s perspective about what’s wrong with a lot of media messages about breast cancer – especially messages from some celebrities about their breast cancer experiences. On Twitter, where she Tweets as @chemobrainfog, she describes herself as “Fierce advocate, activist, blogger.
As I look around after my own 40+ years in health care journalism, I don’t see many others still plowing away at these topics for as long as I have. But today we profile one. In another of our series of podcasts profiling standouts in health/medical/science journalism, you have the chance to hear from Sharon Begley – someone who has been a class act with an outstanding body of work for nearly 40 years.
In the spring of 2005, then-president Jack Fowler of the then-Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) approached me looking for ideas. He wanted to bring ideas to his Board about how to reach the broader patient population beyond those that FIMDM was reaching with its condition-specific shared decision-making programs (which I had helped produce throughout the ’90s as an employee of FIMDM based at Dartmouth Medical School).
The world needs more smart patient advocates.
Anyone who follows health care news should pause for a moment and look at the body of work that John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has built – especially in just the past seven years. (Fauber’s work is also seen on MedPage Today in a partnership arrangement.) There is much that other health care journalists could learn from that work, and, more importantly, there is much that health care consumers and news consumers can learn from that work.
This is the second in an unplanned, occasional series about real people who are harmed by inaccurate, imbalanced, incomplete, misleading media messages. The first was about a man with glioblastoma brain cancer.
In our podcast series, we’re giving you a chance to hear directly from newsmakers, and from some who maybe should be in the news but aren’t. But we also want to occasionally feature some news reporters.
News consumers are often unaware of how much of what they read is dominated by – and may, in fact, be simply a minimal re-write of – PR news releases written by people whose job it is to make their institution, their faculty, their ideas, their research or their products look as good as they possibly can.
Today, probably more than ever, many supposedly independently-vetted news stories are actually just mirror images of PR news releases.
2015 was a gold medal year for HealthNewsReview.org – and for our users as well, we hope.
One year ago today, this project had no operating budget. I was keeping the site going by myself with only occasional blog posts. I had no funds to work on the website, to do team-driven systematic news story reviews, to expand, or to do different things, or to pay anybody anything.