Health Journalism: Have we reached new lows?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 14:49

Guest post by Gary Schwitzer

It doesn’t get much worse than this in health journalism; NY Daily News finds new lows

By Gary Schwitzer

[Original post published on Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview Blog, July 13, 2010 and reprinted with permission from Gary Schwitzer.]

I know that many people just dismiss the New York Daily News, but you can’t dismiss the number of readers it has and the potential impact its stories may have on them – especially an unconscionable piece like one published today, headlined, “Shot that stops many deadly forms of cancer may be ready in 5 years.”

Continuing a bad trend of just republishing things from the London Daily Mail without adding any new reporting or vetting, the Daily News reports:

“A tumor-busting, life-saving injection may be ready for prime time in about five years.

The vaccine, effective against deadly cancers in areas of the body like the breast, bowel and cervix, is being tested on some patients, according to the Daily Mail.

The shot shrinks the tumors and stops them from spreading.

The vaccine, now being tested on 60 bladder cancer patients, has been used on animals with “extremely good” results, according to the Daily Mail.”

No details on evidence so far, except that there were supposedly “extremely good” results in animals.

No perspective from an independent expert.

Apparently no concern for the harm that might be done to anxious cancer patients and their families.

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Note to consumers:  Don’t be afraid to question health news and information.

Ask questions when it comes to health and medical news stories.  Just because a major media outlet is reporting a story, it doesn’t mean it’s completely fair, balanced and accurate.  Be a proactive, empowered and engaged health consumer.

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About Gary Schwitzer

HealthNewsReviewBlog

HealthNewsReview.org

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