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Health News Review

by Gary Schwitzer

I’m pleased to join this blog today as a contributor. I’m a longtime health care journalist who is now an Associate Professor and director of a health journalism graduate program at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication. My comments on this blog will often be about the state of health journalism and its possible impact on consumer decision-making. I’ve been blogging on such matters for several years.

I’m also publisher of a website that evaluates and grades U.S. health news coverage. It is named HealthNewsReview.org. Last week, at an awards ceremony in New York City, the site won a Mirror Award, honoring excellence in media industry reporting.
Our team of reviewers (we’re scattered around the country), and my partner in this project, the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, are thrilled with the recognition. We are concerned about health journalism becoming more of a soft, fluffy, gee-whiz feature in many newsrooms at a time when it should be hard-edged, investigating evidence, absolute benefits and harms, costs, access, and conflicts of interest in those who promote new ideas. We want to shine a light on excellent health journalism, while offering help to those who are struggling.

Details on the Mirror Award, if you’re interested, are at http://www.mirrorawards.syr.edu.

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