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journalism warning labels

Great initiative, Tom Scott's pointed set of 'Journalism Warning Labels', spreading some much-needed media scepticism - like a do-it-yourself 'Flat Earth News'. Even if you can't be bothered printing stickers, doing some mental labeling of your daily news fare is definitely a sane exercise.

Journalism Warning Label - 1

Journalism Warning Label - 2

There's a Dutch version too. (For some Dutch background on this issue, see for instance this article on 'Mediafalen'.)

Recommended:

heel ander blad

For Dutch speakers, the collage newspaper 'Heel Ander Blad' ('Very Different Paper') by artist Luuk Wilmering offers an effective piece of media satire. The concept - cutting up hundreds of NRC 's and reassembling them into a nonsensic… Read the full post »

three comments

And for an English-language glimpse at this very real issue, check out this Guardian article on medical ghostwriting, which reports on a class-action suit brought against Wyeth by "around 14,000 patients who developed breast cancer while taking Prempro, the hormone replacement therapy (HRT).": http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/..

Wyeth paid a consultancy to ghost-write medical-sounding papers presenting an unfounded and unresearched but positive assessment of HRT, and then to find doctors who accepted to publish the paper in their own name, in academic journals.

Another label, for use in such trade press, would be "Warning: This paper has not actually been written by the alleged author, its ghost-writing was paid for by the company whose product is reviewed."

Raphaël Mazoyer (URL), 19-09-’10 12:02

Ouch, that's shameless. Good to see some of these practices exposed.

Another cynical example in this Zembla documentary from 2008, about the introduction in the Netherlands of a vaccin against cervical cancer. Most interesting is the insight into the marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies, including a freelance consultant who says: "It's illegal to advertise prescription drugs, so instead we market [fear for] the disease" - in this case through articles in magazines for teenage girls.

http://zembla.vara.nl/Afleveringen.1973...

bv (URL), 19-09-’10 15:01

For a more serious analysis of scientific journalism, see this Guardian article...

This paragraph will explain that while some scientists believe one thing to be true, other people believe another, different thing to be true.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/the-la..

bv (URL), 28-09-’10 11:09

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