Boston Blog

Who needs a PR team? TV news hypes Brigham stem cell study

Researchers, including a team from The Brigham and Women’s Hosptial, got some help hyping a very preliminary study on cardiac stem cells presented at the ongoing American Heart Association Meeting.

As we suggested earlier this week, see CardioBrief for sensible reporting on this story and others from the meeting.

Hype Aside, Hope for Stem Cell Therapy May Be Emerging From Hibernation

The (MSNBC) story offered no meaningful discussion of the limitations of the research,

failed to explain that only 8 of 16 patients had been followed for a year, and

offered no independent perspective – offering only one of the researchers

saying:

He notes “recurring themes” in the stories: "Tyranny of the anecdote…Money quote keeps paying dividends…EXCITEMENT!…Diane Sawyer discussed on the air how “excited” correspondent Richard Besser was. Hmm. Is that the job of journalism to convey how excited a reporter is? … CBS used cure and breakthrough in the same headline. At least they added: "But other experts expressed caution.As we suggested earlier this week, see CardioBrief for sensible reporting on this story and others from the meeting.

For more on how the press gets it right and gets it wrong a bit too often, see Health News Review.

Comments

There are currently no comments.