CJR: Be skeptical of miraculous study results

In the Columbia Journalism Review, Katherine Bagley urges journalists to use caution when reporting the results of medical studies, citing reports on a recent study on the effectiveness of using stem cells to halt or even reverse multiple sclerosis as an example.

Done with caution and a critical eye, coverage of limited but promising research can provide a needed dose of optimism for people with MS and their families. Unfortunately, in this case, that journalistic prudence was almost totally missing.

Bagley said that, through over-the-top reporting and selective coverage of the small-scale control-free study had inspired false hope and misled readers.

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