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HealthNews And Media

Spotting Fake Health Claims from Media Outlets

Though most of the information found online, on adverts, or through word of mouth, is considered to have some truth, some of your own research is necessary. CBD is an excellent example of a product that does have real medicinal value—a point that has been proven through various studies—with exaggerated claims made about it. The CBD business is booming, and given this public interest, media outlets have begun covering CBD health claims more frequently.

So, how do you go about spotting fake health claims from media outlets?

Find the source

When trying to verify the accuracy of a claim, your first step is the check the source. Where is the information coming from? Generally, you want to see links to unbiased research studies or authority sources.

Many of these sources may be government-run, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A good thing to watch out for is the website extension—.gov, .edu, and others that can’t be simply purchased like .org or .coms are an excellent place to start.

Though you may find authority sources with one of these purchasable extensions, such as the American Medical Association (AMA), which is a .org, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the site has a reason to misrepresent the facts—do they have a bias? All of the before-mentioned source examples would not benefit from making false health claims to the public.

Back in our CBD health claims example, for instance, if they are claiming CBD reduces anxiety—and it does—you would expect to see actual research on the subject linked rather than say, a CBD retailers website, who very clearly benefit from you believing this to be true.

Read the source

The next step is to read the source being provided. A common trick of the media is to misrepresent what’s been shown in an actual study to suit the sensational format of headlines better—they are manufacturing clickbait—and the best bait has just enough truth to be believable.
The media might say something like, “CBD cures cancer!” which is not true. CBD can help alleviate the symptoms of cancer treatments and may help destroy certain types of cancerous cells, but it has yet to be determined as a “cure.” While CBD has been proven to help with pain, and there are even websites like iSum going over the best CBD oils and highly-ranked CBD gummies for certain conditions, be wary of big promises and a “one size fits all” cure for all ailments.

However, if you saw this headline, along with a  study attached, but didn’t read that study, you’d still be falling victim to a false media claim.
This sort of almost-true information can be particularly dangerous. Can you imagine what would happen if a cancer patient chose to forgo traditional treatment entirely and rely solely on CBD to cure their cancer? Odds are it would end tragically.

Compare sources

The final step is to expand on the source you’ve been given—do your research. Perhaps one study says that CBD is useful for treating disorders such as schizophrenia as an antipsychotic, but others may find the opposite.
The media tends to pick one study and present the findings of that study as fact, again, using the power of half-truth to sell a story. It’s crucial to review research on the subject as a whole to view the complete picture and draw a factual conclusion yourself.

In Summary

The media is not as unbiased as one might think, like a typical business, they have a bottom line to think about, and in cases, will skew the truth or outright make false claims to bring in readers. Especially with the Internet -granted ability of misinformation to spread like wildfire, it is important to check, read, and compare sources to spot fake health claims from media outlets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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News And Media

My Journey to Becoming a TV Reporter

This is a post submitted by one of our readers, Graham Collin. If you’re currently looking to establish a career path in TV reporting, this is for you.

I’ve always had a passion for writing stories and a deep love for the truth, and being able to watch the news and then form my own opinion or research an interesting news story was always the highlight of my day.

So when the opportunity arose for me to become a journalist and put my passions to use, I was already studying like mad to make that dream a reality. While the odds were stacked a bit against me being a TV reporter right off the bat, I soon found that there were other ways to spread the news.

Education

I needed the proper education, so much like every other aspiring news journalist before me, I got my Bachelor’s degree in Print, Broadcast, and Electronic Journalism. The sheer amount of information I had to obtain and hold was amazing and a little scary.

I thought that a journalist just had stories handed to them or were pointed out in the right direction, but they actually have to make contacts in the industry and have sources for stories. Then they have to prove that those stories are newsworthy to bosses, only then can they publish it.

The classes I took not only showed me how to write but also how to look for the stories sometimes hidden in plain sight and then let the author talk to me. I focused mostly on writing for the web but I did try to absorb any media that talked about TV broadcasting, unwilling to let the long odds stop me.

Working with others and for myself

I then graduated and moved to become an intern at a local news radio station in my hometown. While I mostly cleaned up, kept things organized, and generally made the boss’s job easier, my dedication to even these small tasks got me recognized. Then I was able to listen in on radio spots, see how they were made, and even host the show for an all too brief five minutes.

When I left the internship a year later, I had a glowing referral and a one-way ticket to a TV studio up the coast where they needed a photojournalist.

Sadly, I didn’t get the job, and after wandering around for a bit I decided to work for myself. With a little help and support, I became a Freelance journalist, using my passion and grit for anyone who would hire me.

I was hired to work on an online news blog, combining my passions of working from home and writing up a story perfectly.

Here for now

I’m still a freelancer, but I’m slowly building up a portfolio of sources and grateful clients which will all help me in my quest to eventually become a TV reporter.

It hasn’t been easy, and I doubt it’ll get any easier but I still know that my dream is achievable if I put enough effort into it, and I’ve got all the effort in the world.

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