A part of our web site goes away April 1. However main options of the positioning will stay. Right here’s the breakdown and a few background.
Once I began publishing HealthNewsReview.org 15 years in the past, the one content material was information story critiques. To be extra particular, we solely reviewed information tales that included claims about well being care interventions (therapies, checks, merchandise, procedures, and so on.). As a result of we utilized 10 standardized standards to the assessment of those tales, nearly all the time with three unbiased reviewers (representing a mixture of journalists, physicians, and others skilled within the analysis of proof), the method rapidly gained credibility and a faithful following. Slightly than delivering a subjective thumbs up or down, our critiques have been the purest, most goal, systematic, analytical method we knew of for evaluating claims about well being care that knowledgeable many Individuals.
By the point substantial funding for the undertaking elapsed on the finish of 2018, my workforce, which had grown to about 50 reviewers, had systematically reviewed 2,616 information tales.
From 2015-2018, the workforce took an analogous method in systematically reviewing 606 public relations information launch critiques.
You’ll be able to learn extra about the ultimate report card on these 3,222 critiques.
By the years we added different content material varieties that grew to become extremely popular with 1000’s of followers:
- 2,933 weblog posts – Not like the systematic critiques that targeted solely on information tales and information releases, these posts touched on promoting, advertising and marketing, discuss exhibits, journal or pre-print publishing practices – a much wider vary of communication points that always negatively impression the general public dialogue about well being care.
- Two dozen suggestions for analyzing research, medical proof and well being care claims – primers to clarify lots of the ideas explored in the whole lot we printed
- Greater than 40 “Only for Journalists” suggestions and case research for writing about well being care
- An inventory of greater than 100 industry-independent consultants to assist journalists do their job extra utterly, with unconflicted, unbiased views
- Greater than 20 affected person tales of perceived hurt from deceptive media messages – one of the crucial vital options on the positioning for my part, with many heart-breaking tales
- 50 podcasts – that includes interviews with main clinician-researchers, sufferers, and journalists. The audio for just a few of the podcasts stays on the positioning and even these will quickly be eliminated. I’ve no employees and no funding so as to add new podcasts or pay for internet hosting of previous productions.
Why we have to take away the critiques
Now, due to the age of a few of the unique coding and construction of the web site going again 16 years – counting our 12 months of beta growth – the systematic critiques can’t be maintained any longer. The web site now runs on a WordPress platform which should be up to date sometimes. However when my webmaster not too long ago tried to replace WordPress, the entire systematic critiques disappear. If we don’t replace WordPress the web site will finally be unstable. So I actually haven’t any alternative however to take away the three,222 information story and information launch critiques as quickly as potential.
In consequence, I’ve chosen April 1, 2021 because the day these critiques will probably be faraway from the positioning. I’d do it sooner however I wish to give followers an opportunity to peruse the critiques and study from them.
After April 1, you’ll nonetheless have the ability to see our weblog – the preferred characteristic of the positioning – the ideas, primers and case research, and the tales of affected person hurt from deceptive media messages.
I’m unhappy to haven’t any different alternative however to take away the critiques. From the time I first noticed the Media Physician Australia undertaking pursue this pathway in 2004, I used to be impressed. Then when Floyd (Jack) Fowler, Jr., PhD and the Basis for Knowledgeable Medical Determination Making obtained me began with funding – assist that continued from them for 8 years – our undertaking quickly grew to become the most important with the furthest attain of any of the six related tasks that sprung up across the globe. Later, Arnold Basis funding allowed us to achieve new heights for 4 years of a lot higher impression.
The critiques have been our bread-and-butter
No different undertaking within the U.S. has tried something just like what we did with these criteria-driven critiques. Others have made claims about fact-checking tasks. I’ve written concerning the distinction between fact-checking and what we did, and identified the inherent potential flaws of fact-checking on well being care media messages.
A bioethicist wrote to me not too long ago: “What you will have accomplished is outstanding. The data is so vital – and never only for journalists.”
The primary a part of that remark could be very type. The second half is correct on the cash; I all the time seen this undertaking as being helpful for most of the people. Because it says in our masthead, “Enhancing Your Important Pondering About Well being Care.” The standards-driven critiques have been a significant factor in delivering that form of assist to residents/sufferers.
I’m undecided how typically I’ll add new materials to the web site in 2021. The years 2020 and 2021 thus far have sucked the wind from my sails. The pandemic, vaccine/remedy hype, complicated and contradictory statements from federal well being company leaders (Azar and Atlas lead the checklist), the ugliest politics, unequal justice, violence, the assault on the U.S. Capitol and the refusal by many elected officers to do something about it – all of it provides as much as the worst 12 months of misinformation of the American public that this journalist has seen in a 48-year profession.
I’ll publish after I suppose I can add one thing that isn’t being adequately addressed.