Why does health journalism matter? - healthemergency.org.uk

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Dr John Lister Coventry University Impact of health reporting Surveys continue to show that the vastmajority of the public get most of their.
information about science from the mass Science and the Media Expert Group January 2010 Misinformation or inadequate information onmedical issues can kill.
If 70 of A E attenders can be treated at UrgentCare Centre are you your child in the 70 or Health affects everyoneAlmost no other news specialist topic hassuch a universal audience in all media .
Story lines include Reader s own health Availability affordability Health care systems changes costs Keeping getting healthy.
New treatments effectiveness oftreatments Main sources of health Mainstream media UK end 2013 Estimates 50 million daily readers of newspapers.
14 million accessing newspaper info online Tens of millions in news audiences for TV radio Compare with specialist health press 300 000 weekly readers of BMJ Health ServiceJournal Nursing Standard Nursing Times more.
specialist media combined Plus online readers maybe 1 5 2 million monthly almost all health professionals academics Who is reporting on health .
Surveys of health reporters show few haveany specialist training and most of these trained as healthprofessionals or science degrees beforebecoming reporter.
Most specialist reporters centred inspecialist health trade press Tiny audience compared with mainstream media Few training courses in Europe all small Few employers invest anything in training.
As a result self taught journalists trying to copewith complex stories newsroom pressures News values versus Mainstream news media approach storiesas NEWS not from scientific interest .
Nuances don t fit well into this framework Traditional news values Galtung Ruge RELEVANCE for target audience NEWS TIMELINESS immediacy happening now little time for checking balance or scientific.
SIMPLIFICATION can it be described simply ELITES can story be linked to a famous NEGATIVITY bad news sells simplify GOOD NEWS also sells simplify Reporting frames.
understanding and limits Weaknesses in reporting not limited toreporting clinical trials and medicalinnovation Misinformation can also disenfranchise.
If a story or an aspect of a story is not in themedia public don t know cannot react Reporting of English health reforms Obamacare Some stories achieve prominence despitecentring on inaccurate information.
13 000 excess deaths in failing hospitals Rise in GP support for charging for appointments A nuanced story to rectify an inaccuratereport will not reach same audience Time to take POLICY.
Various guidelines circulated on reportingclinical trials campaigns waged Goldacre BMJ Lancet etc Gary Schwitzer healthnewsreview 10 points Science Media Centre 10 points.
All seeking to ensure proper reporting of source context cost timescale and critique Problems where these principles not audience misled false expectations unjustified panic where dangers exaggerated .
absolute risk not clearly defined raise bar on We need a similarframework toencourage critical.
reporting ofHEALTH POLICYand other non medical stories This is my attempt.
at developing GarySchwitzer s tenpoints for widerhealth reporting Think before you report.
No wish to tell journalists what to think or But crucial to ensure that more thinking critique are developed Ways to critique rather than recycle endlessstream of press releases PR guided material.
Ways to put stories in context political social economic and find news stories thatmay otherwise be missed Angles to explore the story local clinical practical managerial statistical financial etc .
Ways to bring in balancing voices An ethical journalistmust be a criticaljournalist Ways to do the job better with more.
satisfaction value added and possible feedback Without critical approach journalist is simplytransmitting ethical approach of PR news source Stenographer loudspeaker or messenger nota journalist offering any professional input.
Randolph Hearst News is what people don t want you to know everything else is advertising Better health journalism benefits us all .
Dr John Lister, Coventry University Impact of health reporting “Surveys continue to show that the vast majority of the public get most of their information about science from the mass media.”

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