It is deeply discouraging for me to think about how many different stakeholders have mis-communicated health information so many times in 2020. In my 47-year career, I have never seen a president, his administration, some federal health authority executives, many elected officials, and so many others distort, deceive and lead Americans on vital health care issues as I have seen in the past year . Some news organizations and individual journalists reached new heights in clarification and analysis to help the public. But other areas of journalism and PR professions have also got to the bottom of the daily drumbeat of dirt – more harm than good.
On this page I post links to each of the 44 articles I published on HealthNewsReview.org in 2020. I’ve written all but four; the others were written by Mary Chris Jaklevic, who now writes for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Many of the lessons contained in these posts are as valid today as they were, even if they were published months ago.
January 15: A machine-versus-doctor fixation obscures important questions about artificial intelligence.
Jan 17: How easy it is to be misled by Medicare Advantage marketing
(The two month release hiatus occurred when I thought it was safe to go on vacation. You can see this ended abruptly in March.)
March 19: Flagging press releases to combat a global scourge of exaggerated claims
March 20: Sciatica! How 2 stories reported the same study with different focuses
The President and the pandemic: two months of procrastination, deception and distortion
March 26: Federal health authorities block journalists’ access to COVID-19 experts and information.
April 1: Strong reservations are lacking as news reports trumpet preliminary COVID-19 research
April 9: Self-recruiting doctors offer unproven COVID-19 pandemic treatments
April 16: ‘love your lungs’? Exaggerated screening claims seem out of step more than ever
April 17th: Slow down your vertigo on the Gilead News
April 21: The NY Times ‘Well’ column is uncomfortable again – this time on pandemic running tips
April 23: Shed light on coronavirus misinformation super spreaders
Apr 29: The roller coaster of COVID-19 research news is back on: STAT News + Gileads Remdesivir
What the public didn’t hear about the NIH remdesivir study
May 3: The beginning of a degree is often not newsworthy – even if you include God
May 5: Thanks for missing HealthNewsReview.org, but it’s still there
May 5: Mutant coronavirus story upsets scientists over preprint journalism
May 7: Flubs and mistakes in the New York Times’ stories about llamas and coffee
May 19: Warning: Early vaccine trial results don’t always stand the test of time
Journalism in the Pandemic: Online Training for Thousands of International Journalists
May 21: Avoid single patient COVID-19 stories from a single source – especially on “cures”
June 2nd: 60 Minutes promotes the “plasma promise” of a hospital
June 3: The Reuters report is another classic case study of how NOT to cover COVID-19 news
June 12: Same age, same age, with column in NY Times Well – this time bisphosphonates for pneumonia
June 16: Follow the news on the Dexamethasone COVID-19 Drug
June 17: Pharma-PR appears as an unchecked COVID-19 vaccine message in the STAT newsletter
June 30th: Give me 2 observational studies and an anti-irritant for breakfast
July 3: Some global response to news of US bulk purchase of remdesivir
July 13: Why turn 9 vague patient reports about remdesivir into international news?
July 17: Review of NY Times Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker
July 21: JAMA: Science Communication in Times of a Pandemic
JAMA: Science Communication in Times of a Pandemic
July 21: A day of COVID-19 medication and vaccine news offers cautious reminders
July 24: HealthNewsReview.org on the COVID-19 news
Jul 28: What You Need To Know About Alzheimer’s Test News
July 30th: What to think about when you hear “Get vaccinated by the end of the year”
August 5th: Influence of the pharmaceutical companies on journalism
Aug 6: A crazy week of PR & Study News should teach us how / what to ignore
Aug 24: Convalescent Plasma: Another controversial clash between politics and science
September 4th: It’s Time: Ignore Animal Vaccines, PR & Pharmaceutical News
7th of September:
Perfect storm of politics, PR, dirty messages to the public
Sep 24: How COVID-19 Drug / Vaccine Decisions Could Be Based On Little Evidence
November 9th: Health report after the election: A time to heal
November 9th: Transparency by pharmaceutical companies, scrutiny by journalists, vital in vaccine news
November 23: “Investigating Health & Medicine” – Global Investigative Journalism Network Our contribution to a new global resource
Thank You For Reading!