I went to a presentation about how to improve health care news coverage in the U.S., which was mostly about how many health news reports don’t cover basic issues like costs, availability or provide even a hint of context about whether something is truly broadly beneficial.
That’s noted health journalist Christine Gorman at Global Health Report about how coverage of health care in the U.S. (and internationally as well, especially when it comes to public health issues) lacks objectivity and is often driven by those with a vested interest in radically simplifying the facts.
AJN, it happens, will be meeting later this morning with one of the speakers at the Association of Health Care Journalists presentation that Gorman had just attended when she wrote her post: Gary Schwitzer, “fomer CNN reporter and current journalism professor who founded HealthNewsReview.org.”
Schwitzer is on a mission to improve health care reporting. His Web site takes major health care stories about medications, treatments, and other issues and subjects them to rigorous criteria regarding whether they provide readers crucial context, accuracy, and balance.
Nurses and patients need to know that the news about new drugs and treatments isn’t always as accurate as it could be. Critical thinking is needed, and Schwitzer is helping provide us with the tools.
Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor