New guide focuses on covering medical studies

Reporters are inundated with lures to cover the latest medical study or scientific conference paper. And there are some significant milestones being reached in medical research.

Covering Medical Research

But, more often, the information reaching the public is way too preliminary or even misleading, say those producing a new AHCJ reporting guide on covering health studies.

This guide will help journalists analyze and write about health and medical research studies. It offers advice on recognizing and reporting the problems, limitations and backstory of a study, as well as publication biases in medical journals, and it includes 10 questions reporters should answer to produce a meaningful and appropriately skeptical report.

The guide was written by longtime AHCJ member and HealthNewsReview.org publisher Gary Schwitzer with contributions from Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor of Reuters Health and AHCJ’s treasurer.

AHCJ hopes this guide, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will be a road map to help reporters do a better job of explaining research results for their audiences.

It is the fifth slim guide published in this series. Also available:

  • Covering the Health of Local Nursing Homes
  • Navigating the CDC: A Journalist’s Guide to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web Site
  • Covering Obesity: A Guide for Reporters
  • Covering Hospitals: Using Tools on the Web

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