Podcast: A gold medal year as we approach our 10th anniversary

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2015 gold medal year (bigger)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.

Then, last January, we fired up with new vigor thanks to a new grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

This, in effect, is our annual report, CliffsNotes version, as we approach our 10th anniversary in April, 2016.

  • Newly re-designed website with new features launched in April.
  • New features added:
    • We became the first project that I’m aware of that has ever systematically reviewed and offered feedback on the quality of health care news releases (we don’t use the outdated term “press releases”).
    • We started producing audio podcasts. 12 produced in just the last 20 weeks of the year with new grant from the National Institute of Healthcare Management Foundation to produce more over the next year (featuring names like Ioannidis, Brawley, Esserman – two of our contributors – Drs. Saurabh Jha and Jim Rickert – and others with important stories to tell). More than 4,500 have played the first dozen episodes – from more than 100 countries.
  • Traffic: a whopping 40% increase over our previous best annual total. We built it and you came and kept coming.
  • >550 reviews & blog posts published: About 230 news story reviews, 100 news release reviews (just started in April), ~230 blog posts. Terrific quantity and quality.
  • Improved user engagement: >900 approved comments posted to the site – >200% increase over previous best annual total
  • 15 workshops or presentations, including two in India with the National Cancer Institute, at the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) annual conference (Santa Clara), another AHCJ workshop in DC sponsored by PCORI, at the US Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, at Preventing Overdiagnosis conference (NIH), and at METRICS Improving Biomedical Research 2015 (Stanford).
  • Our work was cited, quoted or profiled in >60 media mentions of various types in 2015.

But I thought it’s time for you to hear from some of our contributors directly – so I interviewed 5 of them in this year-end podcast. Listen and you’ll hear why I love working with this team.

yearend podcast interviewees


Credits for musical bridges used in this podcast:
“That Lucky Old Sun” by Ray Charles
(Star Wars) “Main Title” by John Williams
“Auld Lang Syne” by Bing Crosby

Our year-end thanks to the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for a grant that allowed us to re-launch this project in 2015.

And thanks to The National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation for providing us with a grant to produce these podcasts.

Credit: podcast editor Cristeta Boarini

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 2.38.02 PMPlease note: if you have listened to any of our podcasts and like what you’ve heard, we’d appreciate it if you’d leave a Review and a Rating on the iTunes webpage where our podcasts can be found: https://itun.es/i6S86Qw. (You need to click on the “View in iTunes” button on the left of that page, then find the Ratings and Reviews tab.)

You can now subscribe to our podcasts on that iTunes page or via this RSS feed: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:167780656/sounds.rss

All episodes of our podcasts are archived on this page.

Comments (1)

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Bonny McClain

January 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for the recap Gary! As you know, I am a big fan of improving numeracy in medicine…