evidence-based issues

Feb 20, 2013

An offer for health journalists (might even be a “miracle cure”)

Evidence-based workshop for journalists – May 2 – Gold Coast Ray Moynihan, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Pra

Melissa Sweet — Health journalist and <a href=Croakey co-ordinator" class="author__portrait">

Melissa Sweet

Health journalist and Croakey co-ordinator

Evidence-based workshop for journalists – May 2 – Gold Coast

Ray Moynihan, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice at Bond University, writes:

A more effective headline for this little post about a forthcoming one-day workshop on the Gold Coast would probably have been “miracle cure for health journalists”, but I’m not sure there’s good evidence yet to support the claim.

The facts are that the folks at the Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice are planning a one-day workshop on evidence-based practice, on May 2 on the Gold Coast  – open to doctors and allied health professionals – and this year, with a new stream for journalists.

The idea is to offer journalists tips to see through the statistical tricks often used in press releases, more critically examine complex journal articles, and learn quick and easy ways to find good quality evidence to improve their stories – as well as building valuable contacts.

The day will feature presentations and other interactions with leading researchers including Professor Paul Glasziou, Professor Chris Del Mar and Associate Professor Tammy Hoffman.

If you are a journalist who reports on health regularly or even occasionally, or if you know any who you think might benefit from the one-day workshop – you can find out more about the day here, or email Assistant Professor Chrissy Erueti (ceruetiATbond.edu.au).

There are also a limited number of scholarships for journalists, on application.

Notwithstanding technological and cultural changes, the media remains a vital source of information about health and medicine – and while much reporting is high quality – there are buckets of evidence suggesting too much is more like promotion than journalism.

As to the evidence for the effectiveness for the May 2 workshop itself, obviously a randomised controlled trial would be the gold standard. Having worked as a journalist over the past few decades, it’s certainly true many of us are random, and some involved in trials, but control is usually a big problem.

Thursday May 2  should be a fun day.  Tell your friends, colleagues  and contacts in the media.



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