Photo by wwward0, via Flickr
Photo by wwward0, via Flickr

The Problems of Health Journalism (Storify-ed)

Yesterday I wrote a post pondering a perennial topic in health journalism: How do journalists capture what’s new about a study without hyping its relevance in the general scheme of things? How do we avoid the embarrassing flip-flopping of health headlines?

The response from readers, both on the blog and on Twitter, has been robust and helpful. I created a Storify of the Twitter conversation and posted it below; I’ll try to update if/when the discussion continues. I also want to recommend two related resources:

Ed Yong’s recent talk about his career in science journalism, in which he explains why he has veered away from reporting on biomedicine and psychology.

Gary Schwitzer’s analysis of health stories appearing in major U.S. publications in the past seven years (published in the same issue of JAMA Internal Medicine as the resveratrol study that I mention in my post). The upshot: Health reporting could be much better than it is.