Tag Archives: television

Snyderman’s MSNBC show is canceled

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

In a little bit of news that may have gone unnoticed over the holidays, “Dr. Nancy,” a health program on MSNBC featuring Nancy Snyderman, M.D., has been canceled in the cable channel’s latest changes to its lineup. The show launched on June 29, 2009. See earlier posts about Snyderman’s show.

Snyderman previously worked for ABC, which suspended her for a week after she made a radio commercial for Tylenol. She later left ABC to become vice president of medical affairs for Johnson & Johnson – maker of Tylenol.

Medical dramas paint skewed picture of ideal care

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Sara Hussein writes for Agence France-Presse about how television dramas with medical themes give patients false impression that top-notch medical care involves huge batteries of tests and highly aggressive, interventionist treatments, probably because such things make for better television.

Hussein quotes AHCJ board member Andrew Holtz, who says the sort of care demonstrated on shows like Fox’s “House” isn’t as consistently successful as it may seem on TV, and can in fact be harmful in some cases.

While the primary goal of medical programming may be entertainment, Hussein writes, they also have the power to help a broad audience better understand complicated issues. As an example of the positive potential of health dramas, she cites a daytime soap opera that mentioned an HIV/AIDS hotline. The day of the mention, that hotline got the most calls it received all year.

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The role of medical dramas was discussed during a special ” Hollywood and Health” roundtable at Health Journalism 2007, with writers and producers from Grey’s Anatomy, House and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; and actors from General Hospital.

SF Bay Area station runs sponsored health ‘news’

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Michael Mechanic, a senior editor at Mother Jones, blogs about airtime for sale at KRON-San Francisco, a television station that calls itself “the Bay Area’s News Station.” (The section of Mechanic’s post about television segments for sale is about a third of the way through the blog post, starting with “It’s not just the newspapers, of course.”)

KRON, which used to be an NBC affiliate but is now independent, features segments designed to look like news stories but are actually paid for by sponsors. One such segment is called “Medical Mondays:”

The 24-minute segment is preceded by a seven-second disclaimer noting that the following program was paid for by Seton Medical Center. If you happened to tune it in after eight seconds, you’d be none the wiser.

Mechanic describes the segments as looking and feeling like real news, with a ticker and chirons similar to those on regular newscasts.

KRON also runs a show called “Morning News” featuring paid spots with experts, including features called “Eye on Health” and “Weight Solutions.” Mechanic says the financial relationships are not always disclosed and, when they are, they are “mostly couched in the vague language of sponsorship and partnership.”

AHCJ and the Society of Professional Journalists have taken a stand against such unhealthy alliances between news outlets and hospitals.

NBC’s Snyderman to host daily health news show

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Nancy Snyderman, M.D., chief medical editor for NBC News, will anchor a one-hour daily show about health news and issues that will air on MSNBC beginning June 29.

According to the press release, Snyderman “will tackle everything from health and wellness tips and medical breakthroughs to in-depth looks at health policy as it makes its way through Washington.”

“The abundance of medical and health information means that we have more news than newscasts at NBC. This program will give us a chance to integrate medical news with politics, health policy, and the health concerns of our consumers,” said Snyderman.

The show, which apparently doesn’t yet have a name, will air at noon on weekdays.

Snyderman previously worked for ABC, which suspended her for a week after she made a radio commercial for Tylenol. She later left ABC to become vice president of medical affairs for Johnson & Johnson – maker of Tylenol.

Just one review of her work is posted at HealthNewsReviews.org but it met only one of 10 criteria the site lays out for responsible health reporting. The piece was deemed to be “disease-mongering.”

Stand against hospital deal lands ethics award

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Glen Mabie, the former news director at WEAU-Eau Claire, Wis., has won a 2009 Payne Award for Excellence in Journalism. Mabie resigned from his job when his station’s management negotiated a deal with Sacred Heart Hospital in which the station would run stories featuring personnel from that hospital but not employees of other area hospitals or clinics.

“Glen Mabie took a stand for a basic principle of journalism,” the judges’ statement reads. “In an environment where the definition of ‘what is journalism’ is exploding, he was willing to risk his own economic security to uphold that basic principle.”

The Payne Awards recognize journalists who practice “the highest standards of the profession in the face of political or economic pressures.”

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