June 20, 2008

Reviewing Health Journalism

Elevator newsWithout feedback we should not expect information source quality to do anything but a random walk at best. Hence it is a good idea to review health news and tell journalists how well they do. The study I refer to in the other post was based on healthnewsreview.org, an excellent site that points out how accurate health news stories are. This is something that should be encouraged - can we discover smart funding methods (just having people do it out of the goodness of their hearts will not scale much), make it more visible to people looking for health information and improve coverage to other fields?

I would love to see it covering university press releases, a large source of bias IMHO. Just like news stories they tend to exaggerate their importance, but since these releases are used as the foundation for news they get exaggerated twice. Meanwhile journalists are (I think) less likely to question information coming from a university than from a corporation, but the incentives to boast are almost as big in academia as in business.

Posted by Anders3 at June 20, 2008 02:33 PM