Reviewing the Quality of Medical Journalism: Hype vs Accurate Reporting

In your own writing, you should think about the goals you are trying to accomplish.One way to start doing that, is by evaluating another author’s work, like we have done with our peer edits.

This article gives a “score” to an article written on the New York Times. What score would you give the NY Times article based on the questions from healthnewsreview? What metrics (criteria) did they leave out that you would include?

We have talked about ‘what news needs to be told’ and over-hyping some news. Even if you’re not writing about medicine or health, think about how these criteria can apply to your article. List some.


The NY Times article in reference:


The review’s results:


Total Score: 4 of 8 Satisfactory


One Response to “Reviewing the Quality of Medical Journalism: Hype vs Accurate Reporting”

  1. Ben,

    I think that the rating of this article was pretty fair. From what I read based on both the original article, and the Health News Review, “Seeking Clues to a Heart Disease” seemed largely dependent on the “drama” factor, and less so on concrete facts. I definitely agree that the author could have been more specific; there were several descriptions of afflictions that affected “many people”, which is always an undesirable term to use in journalism. Specific statistics and relevant numbers are key to a good story, and this piece just didn’t quite make the cut. However, the author did some good reporting in order to establish the story as relevant to the reader, making good use of characters and quotes that make the story believable. I like that one of the criteria was the comparison of the new approach to existing alternatives – this is something I will have to keep in mind for my feature.


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