Honors Writing about Health and Medicine

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Adaptation as Distortion?

Check out this post from the AHCJ “Covering Health” blog, about misreporting in a scientific study and press release about it, that was caught and corrected by some of the journalists writing about. This incident should cause us to question any assumptions that scientific studies are always factually accurate and that journalistic coverage about them is distorting.

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1 Comment

  1. sarahmhudak says:

    I don’t find this article shocking, which definitely says something about the state of scientific publishing. In my research methods in psychology course, we’ve been talking about the validity of a study and whether or not a study has external or internal threats that can distort the data. Psychologists, as well as other researchers, take the time to sift through myriad of potential confounding variables in order to make their data as accurate as possible. This is why it’s just as important for journalists, whether in the field of the study or writing for the public, need to make sure their information is accurate and has been interpreted correctly. When burdened with a deadline, the effort it takes to correct mistakes can be even more tedious, but thankfully there are writers, like Brenda Goodman, who realize their mistakes and make efforts to amend them. It’s disheartening that some media relations teams feel that the effort in retracting false statements or skewed results will not make a difference. Even if the population of readers doesn’t find the new information, I think it’s their ethical job to try their best to get the truth seen.

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