Understanding Health News

Understanding Health News

With so much news coming out about health these days, many people may feel a bit overwhelmed.

Fortunately, help may be close at hand. A new Web site, HealthNewsReview.org, is built to support excellence in health insurance and medical news reporting by grading stories on accuracy, balance and completeness.

"Healthcare consumers who use HealthNewsReview.org will learn to look for evidence in virtually any claim created by any source, including news stories," said Professor Gary Schwitzer of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication and publisher of the web page. "Readers will become not only smarter consumers of health care but smarter consumers of news," he added.

A team of impartial reviewers at the website assesses the quality of the health stories that run in the country's top 50 newspapers, the evening network newscasts, Associated Press wire services and weekly news magazines using a standardized rating system. festival includes medical and public health professionals, journalists and researchers. Funded by the nonprofit Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, the website does not provide medical advice-instead it can help readers decipher the often conflicting news about health claims.

"The Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making believes that health care consumers should have access to th