October 9, 2009

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Vaccine scares and the media; an NHL team hires its own reporter; people are being too nice on the net

Taking Our Medicine

As people get the H1N1 vaccine, there will inevitably be cases of seizures, heart attacks, strokes and miscarriages -- all unrelated to the vaccine itself. Centers for Disease Control media relations director Glen Nowak says his agency is reminding reporters about the difference between correlation and causation.

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Shot of Fear

A 14-year-old British girl named Natalie Morton died last week after receiving a vaccine for cervical cancer. Her tragic death was a result of a tumor near her heart but the media coverage stoked the nation's fear about vaccines. Physician and Guardian columnist

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Recurrent Fever

In 1976, President Gerald Ford authorized the National Influenza Immunization Program to inoculate every American against an impending swine flu epidemic. But despite government predictions of one million dead, only one confirmed fatality was recorded by the end of the year. In May, Bob spoke with science writer Patrick Di ...

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Direct to Consumer Science

Science departments at newspapers everywhere are shrinking. One outlet that aims to help fill the coverage gap is Futurity.org, a new website that lets scientists publish their findings directly to the public. Michael Schoenfeld, Futurity’s co-founder, explains the site’s mission.

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Making the Team

The NHL's Los Angeles Kings have decided to take their media destiny into their own hands –- hiring veteran sports reporter Rich Hammond who, until recently, covered the Kings for the L.A. Daily News. That’s right, Hammond will now be a full-time Kings reporter whose stories will appear ...

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You Decide, We Report

Google recently released a video explaining how it ranks news stories. Brent Payne, director of search engine optimization for Tribune Interactive, was paying attention. His job is to ensure that a Tribune article lands on the front page of Google’s search results. Will Google lead ...

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Endorsement Deal

The FTC issued new guidelines for bloggers, tweeters, Facebookers, and anyone else who regularly posts reviews on the Internet. Beware: if you endorse a product, and are in any way compensated for your kind words, you must “clearly and conspicuously” reveal the nature of your payment. Word of ...

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Star Search

When it comes to rating products online, it turns out we're way too nice. The average out of 5 stars for things like dog food, printer paper or boots is 4.3 and as The Wall Street Journal's Geoffrey Fowler explains, all that kindness is actually kind of a ...

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