To improve journalistic coverage of medical research, we need data that challenges conventional and inaccurate beliefs about medicine. You could argue that it has never done so. You could argue that there has never been a more important time for doctors, academics, and journalists to work together on this effort. The call to develop and evaluate strategies to include more genuinely independent and informed commentators in the coverage of medical research is welcome, as part of broader efforts to make medical journalism healthier in new and old media.
Some media outlets have their main news products in print and online media, rather than on television broadcasts or social networks, and full article entries are available on Fativa. Several journalists mentioned that the challenges in covering health disparities were similar to those related to general health and medical science news coverage. The scientific quality of media articles differed between media outlets from all political spectrums in the respective countries (Fig. An independent news rating website concluded that up to a third of health news was based solely or largely on press releases.
The topics of the media articles corresponded to a certain extent to the scientific quality and sensationalism of the information and analysis of the news (Fig. Journalists may also be influenced by press releases other than magazines, although such releases are unlikely to improve the quality of news coverage, since figures and warnings are rarely mentioned in press releases issued by academic medical centres10 or the industry. The sensationalism of media articles was generally low in all media outlets, although somewhat higher in media on the left and center of the political spectrum in Canada and the United States (Fig. Similarly, press releases, which are the most direct way in which sources (such as the pharmaceutical industry, academic medical centers, and medical journals) communicate with the media, often omit key data and do not recognize significant limitations.
Since health disparities are often the result of social inequalities that require solutions at the community or political level, news that uses an informational framework on health disparities can contribute to setting an agenda between opinion leaders and policy makers and lead to policy initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities. The topics of the media articles analyzed (A) during the period of this study and (B) by means of communication are specified.