Showing posts from September, 2010

Who should write medical news stories?

An interesting paper in PLOS Medicine on media reporting of medical news. Wilson et al examined medical news stories written by specialist and non-specialist journalists in Australia from 2004–08. They found specialist health reporters produced higher quality articles than general reporters, and broad sheets performed better than tabloids. They suggest:

It does matter who writes news stories that cover the benefits and harms of health care interventions. Stories written by specialist health journalists were superior to those written by other groups. These data illustrate what can be achieved in terms of high-quality health news reporting, but this ideal is seldom reached. The analyses also underscore the importance of which outlets journalists work for. Traditional broadsheet newspapers scored highest and commercial human interest programs consistently returned the poorest scores. We presume that these differences reflect not only the profession…