Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Medical Reporting

Medical reporting on TV news today really is pretty sad. Last night I happened to catch the same story on all 3 networks about an autism study done in South Korea. NBC had the most disjointed report, one that included several generalizations and unsubstantiated claims. ABC had the shortest take on the story. CBS had the best report but it implied that the autism rates in South Korea translated into a dramatic rise in undiagnosed autism in America.

Not one story recognized that the dietary, cultural and other differences between our two countries could make any extrapolation of the autism rate in South Korea meaningless in America. They were all happy to report the press release almost as written to create a sense of urgency in our country. This new sense of urgency will eventually translate into more prescriptions for drugs.

Watching the same story reported three different ways was an educational experience which only confirmed once again the sad state of journalism in America today, especially when the subject is medicine.

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