Specialist health journalists write better news stories

September 14, 2010

David Henry from the University of Toronto and colleagues analysed Australian news stories over a five-year period, and examined whether experienced specialist health reporters write better stories than other categories of journalists. They found that it does matter who writes news stories that cover the benefits and harms of health care interventions: stories written by specialist health journalists working for a single media outlet were of higher quality than those written by less experienced writers. The authors say their findings are important because "this source of health literacy is currently under pressure as falling revenues threaten the future of the traditional media."
-end-
Funding: Media Doctor Australia has received funding over the past three years from the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors of this paper have acted as reviewers for Media Doctor, rating news articles featured on the Media Doctor Web site (http://www.mediadoctor.org.au/).

Citation: Wilson A, Robertson J, McElduff P, Jones A, Henry D (2010) Does It Matter Who Writes Medical News Stories? PLoS Med 7(9): e1000323. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000323

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER:

http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000323

PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: www.plos.org/press/plme-07-09-henry.pdf

CONTACT:

David Henry
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
2075 bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5
Canada
14163716947
david.henry@ices.on.ca

PLOS

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