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“Blood test finds 50 types of cancer” – we’ve been down this path before

Shoddy, incomplete, fawning news coverage of screening tests is one of the most clearly established problems in health news coverage – something HealthNewsReview.org has revealed countless times over the past 15 years. A public relations news release 22 days ago – from “a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early” – touted studyContinue reading ““Blood test finds 50 types of cancer” – we’ve been down this path before”

Two different assessments of COVID-19 pandemic news coverage

Two new journalistic analyses of 2020-2021 pandemic news coverage were released this week.  I was interviewed in each of them. Science journalist Faye Flam produced a new episode for her “Follow the Science” podcast, with funding from the Society for Professional Journalists. She interviewed me, David Leonhardt of the New York Times and David Wallace-Wells ofContinue reading “Two different assessments of COVID-19 pandemic news coverage”

Zombie health care news

Although I am advancing rapidly into almost complete retirement, there are some days/weeks when I can’t refrain from pointing out some of the troubling health care news I see.  This is one such week. First, the COVID zombie news My local Star Tribune newspaper delivered this front page news: University of Minnesota, Mayo report COVID-fighting successContinue reading “Zombie health care news”

Transparency watchdog criticizes STAT’s non-disclosure on pro-Pharma op-ed

Should publications that post op-ed pieces tell us more about who wrote the op-ed and what their potential biases and conflicts of interest might be? I’m in the camp that answers a resounding YES. Till Bruckner is, too. He writes for Transparify, an organization that rates “the financial transparency of major think tanks.” He isContinue reading “Transparency watchdog criticizes STAT’s non-disclosure on pro-Pharma op-ed”

Tech sites hype Apple Watch for COVID-19 prediction without providing the evidence

Milwaukee oncologist Michael Thompson, MD, wrote to me yesterday morning (February 10)  about an article – “New Study Suggests Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor Can Predict COVID-19 Up to a Week Before a Swab Test” – promoted on Twitter by MacRumors.com. The story was about the so-called Warrior Watch Study at Mount Sinai Medical Center inContinue reading “Tech sites hype Apple Watch for COVID-19 prediction without providing the evidence”

Our 3,222 systematic reviews of journalism & PR will be gone soon

Part of our website is going away April 1. But major features of the site will remain.  Here’s the breakdown and some background. When I started publishing HealthNewsReview.org 15 years ago, the only content was news story reviews. To be more specific, we only reviewed news stories that included claims about health care interventions (treatments,Continue reading “Our 3,222 systematic reviews of journalism & PR will be gone soon”

Reflections on 2020: You can’t mask this reality

It is deeply disheartening for me to reflect on how health care information was miscommunicated so often by so many different players in 2020.  In my 47-year career, I never saw a President, his Administration, some federal health agency leaders, many elected officials and so many others distort and deceive and mislead Americans so oftenContinue reading “Reflections on 2020: You can’t mask this reality”

“Investigating Health & Medicine” – Global Investigative Journalism Network

Our contribution to a new global resource HealthNewsReview.org made multiple contributions to an impressive new online resource, “Investigating Health and Medicine,” by Serena Tinari and Catherine Riva via the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The preface to the guide states: This guide deals extensively with how to independently assess research claims and frequently cites the work of HealthNewsReview.org,Continue reading ““Investigating Health & Medicine” – Global Investigative Journalism Network”

Transparency by drug companies, scrutiny by journalists, vital in vaccine news

Pfizer’s chairman and CEO proclaimed in a Pfizer company news release: “Today is a great day for science and humanity.” In that PR news release – but only in that format – Pfizer announced early results of “a vaccine efficacy rate above 90%, at 7 days after the second dose.” That’s about all we knowContinue reading “Transparency by drug companies, scrutiny by journalists, vital in vaccine news”

Post-election health report: a time for healing

Today’s email newsletter: A time for healing One headline has stayed with me:  ‘Science was on the ballot’ – and public health lost. In an article published the morning after the election, STAT news reported:  “Results…underscore just how many Americans agree with a president who has called the nation’s top scientists “idiots,” openly mocked mask-wearing, andContinue reading “Post-election health report: a time for healing”

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