Rating the Media: How Well is Breast Cancer Reported?

Two years ago at this conference I introduced our new website, HealthNewsReview.org, to evaluate and grade health news stories that include claims of efficacy or safety in treatments, tests, products or procedures.

Today I led a follow-up workshop – along with terrific journalist Shannon Brownlee and NBCC Board Member and advocate Sandy Walsh.

HealthNewsReview.org has now reviewed 544 stories. About 65 of them were related to breast cancer. I gave several examples of how stories by leading news organizations in this country failed to give adequate context, analysis or perspective on vital breast cancer issues.

Please visit our website – and look for a brand new “Join the Discussion” forum on the right rail of the home page. It’s our hope that we can open a dialogue among journalists, news consumers, health care consumers and others about what can be done to improve the flow and quality of health care news and information.

Gary Schwitzer
Publisher, HealthNewsReview.org
Associate Professor
Director, health journalism M.A. program
University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication
e-mail: schwitz@umn.edu

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