Tag Archives: healthnewsreview.org

Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview blog wins award

MedGadget, the “Internet journal of emerging medical technologies,” announced that AHCJ member Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview blog, won Best Medical Weblog of 2009.

From the announcement:

The winner of the Best Medical Weblog of 2009 is Gary Schwitzer’s HealthNewsReview Blog. Gary used to be a professional health reporter. He is now a professor of journalism at University of Minnesota, focusing on medical reporting. Gary has become renowned for his critique of media’s coverage of health care topics. And that’s what his blog is mostly about: checking and correcting the weak, erroneous, and misleading reporting of medical science and industry on TV and in newspapers.

Other blogs recognized focus on narrative, clinical cases, health policy and ethics, medical technology and patient experience.

The awards are sponsored by Epocrates, a maker of medical software for personal digital assistants and smart phones.

Poignant story leaves out the evidence

A heartwarming story on CBS News about a child’s medical treatment was in fact “incomplete and imbalanced,” according to Gary Schwitzer, on his HealthNewsReview blog.

Schwitzer, as regular Covering Health readers know, is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication and publisher of HealthNewsReview.org.

Among the holes he sees in the story, reported by Sanjay Gupta:

  • No mention of the costs of treatment
  • How the child’s placement on a transplant list was affected
  • Why the device used is not FDA-approved
  • A lack of evidence that the device and treatment saved her life

Be sure to read what Schwitzer did find out about the medical device that was used. As he says, “Stories about new medical technologies – even those with such an emotional personal anecdote – should deal with evidence, not hyperbole about one anecdote.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s coverage wins award

Citing high ratings for accuracy and credibility, the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making has given the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the foundation’s first award for Excellence in Health Journalism.

The award was for the work of the health and science team, including AHCJ member John Fauber, as rated on the Foundation-sponsored Web site healthnewsreview.org. According to the foundation’s press release, the Journal Sentinel received more top ratings than any other newspaper of a similar size. The award comes with cash and a certificate.

“We were very surprised and pleased by this recognition,” said Becky Lang, the Journal Sentinel‘s health and science editor. “In the current media environment of instant Internet coverage and reduced staffing in credible news outlets, the pressure is on for us to keep the standards high. It is even more important than ever for us to provide health stories that are meaningful, accurate, reader friendly and that delve deeper than the surface. We welcome this kind of oversight.”