Journalists and the media
This article is a work in progress. Please feel free to contribute to it.
As doctors we need to be able to understand and work with the media.
We need to understand how stories will be presented, and why they, in order to ensure that the interests of our patients, and our own interests, are best presented.
The role of journalists and the media in health scares
There are some excellent journalists publishing factual articles; but there are also many journalists who fail - who wilfully fail, it sometimes seems - to understand evidence. Evidence does not always sell newspapers, but a particular angle on an issue might.
Many journalists are arts graduates, who seem almost proud of their lack of interest in science and the evaluation of evidence. For them, the endorsement of a scientifically illiterate actor or film star carries far more weight than ranks of knoweldgable scientists.The role of the media in supporting the antivaccine movement during, for example, the MMR scare, for example, has been much discussed, particularly by Ben Goldacre of "bad science" fame. Yet, while some journalists may deserve a huge amount of the blame for, e.g., the MMR scare, others, such as the aforementioned Goldacre and also Brian Deer have been at the forefront of exposing the scares for what they are.
Role of Editors and Proprietors
The skills of headline writing and the wordsmith make or break an editor who must also keep the proprietor happy. The proprietor can have other agenda's than money, but editorial copy that does not sell the publication will in the end result in change..
- ↑ Nimmo SB. 2008 (29 September). Posting on Doctors Net (subscription required)
- ↑ [(http://www.libdemvoice.org/why-there-isnt-a-british-nate-silver-31387.html Tall S. Why isn't there a British Nate Silver? Liberal Democrat Voice 2012; London, Updated 8 November 2012; Accessed: 2012 (8 November)]
- ↑ Sears N. Showbusiness stars help controversial MMR jab doctor Andrew Wakefield relaunch career in America. Daily Mail (29 September)
- ↑ BBC News. Medics slam 'distorted' MMR drama 2003(15 December)
- ↑ Brown H. MMR drama outrages UK doctors. Lancet 2003; 362:1986
- ↑ Fitzpatrick M. MMR: Fact and fiction. Spiked online. 2003 (11 December)
- ↑ Revill J. Channel defends MMR jab drama. The Observer, Sunday December 14 2003
- ↑ Goldacre B. The MMR hoax. The Guardian 2008 (30 August)
- ↑ Goldacre B. The MMR story that wasn't. The Guardian 2007 (18 July)
- ↑ Goldacre B. The silence over new MMR research. The Guardian 200 (14 October)
- ↑ Deer B. The mmr & autism crisis: part 1 - the Lancet scandal. Last viewed 29 September 2008
- ↑ Brian Deer - home page
- ↑ B Deer. Andrew Wakefield: surgeon paid to attack MMR shots faces medical council hearing. Last viewed September 29, 2008
- ↑ Deer B. The mmr & autism crisis: part 2 - the Wakefield factor. Last viewed 29 September 2008
- ↑ Deer B. The vanishing victims. Last viewed 29 September 2008