Medical studies are often the basis of great stories in newspapers, on TV and across social media. However, in the quest to make scientific subjects easy for audiences to understand, it is possible for stories to lose important context.
It means journalists have to be very selective over the studies which are published. Here to help is a three-step guide to assessing the newsworthiness of medical studies from Chloe Reichel, research reporter, Journalist’s Resource.
Reichel shares some tips from Tara Haelle, topic leader for medical studies at the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), speaking at the annual AHCJ conference 2019. Step one is getting to grips with crucial terms and categories.
"Pre-clinical studies: This early phase of research precedes the clinical study phase. The research is not conducted with human subjects, so the findings are limited," it writes.
"There are two different kinds of pre-clinical studies. In vitro: These studies are conducted on cells grown in a lab. In vivo: These studies are conducted on non-human animals."