Journal article

What are the roles and responsibilities of the media in disseminating health information?

G Schwitzer, G Mudur, D Henry, A Wilson, M Goozner, M Simbra, M Sweet, KA Baverstock

PLoS Medicine | PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE | Published : 2005

Abstract

BACKGROUND TO THE DEBATE: In December 2004 three news stories in the popular press suggested that the side effects of single-dose nevirapine, which has been proven to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, had been covered up. Many HIV experts believed that the stories were unwarranted and that they would undermine use of the drug, leading to a rise in neonatal HIV infection. The controversy surrounding these stories prompted the PLoS Medicine editors to ask health journalists, and others with an interest in media reporting of health, to share their views on the roles and responsibilities of the media in disseminating health information.