PCC Judgement On Daily Mail HPV Article

February 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm (Media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Back in November last year, I complained about a Daily Mail article on the HPV vaccine. Another individual also complained (about the Mail and other newspapers) and the PCC decided that theirs would be the main complaint, with mine being considered alongside it. It’s taken over three months, but the PCC have now made an adjudication. Read the rest of this entry »


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Paul Dacre, Kitten Killer

February 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm (Media) (, , , )

kitten pictures

This is what Paul Dacre might see if he were a kitten killer. Which, as far as I know, he isn’t.

Of course, Paul Dacre is not really a kitten killer. I’ve made that up. Newspapers such as Dacre’s Daily Mail though, and I’m not making this bit up, are allowed to print pretty much any headline they like. As long as they make clear at some point that the headline is untrue. Perhaps in, say, paragraph 19 of the article.

This is problematic. Not everyone will read the whole article. A few will read right to the end, some will look at the pictures and maybe read the first couple of paragraphs. But everyone will have been exposed to the headline.

The Poynter Institute found that online participants read an average of 77 percent of story text they chose to read; broadsheet participants read an average of 62 percent of stories they selected; and tabloid participants read an average of 57 percent. They also note that readers described as ‘scanners’ viewed headlines and other page display elements without reading much text. It’s clear that some people might be influenced by a headline without ever reading the attached article.

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Why Write About Alternative Medicine? Part Three: Risks

February 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm (Alternative Medicine, Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Another reason to write about alternative medicine: risk. Alternative therapies have associated risks that practitioners may not inform patients about. In part one of this series (here), I linked to research that found media coverage of alternative medicine to be positive (in some cases overwhelmingly so) and to lack discussion of the risks, benefits, and costs.

Given the reluctance of practitioners and journalists to tell people about the risks of CAM, I think it is worth taking some time to blog about them.

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