Autism News Beat

An evidence-based resource for journalists

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Entries from February 2008

Throwing mud

February 25th, 2008 · 6 Comments · Careless sourcing, Junk science

Tweet It’s a matter of faith among most politicians that if you throw enough mud at your opponent that some is bound to stick, truth be damned. Agenda driven anti-vaccine activists have know this for years, so it’s important for journalists covering the autism news beat to recognize some of the more blatant and frequently […]

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What some experts say

February 22nd, 2008 · 55 Comments · Careless sourcing, Easy marks

Tweet Citing “experts” is a double edge sword. On one hand, a knowledgeable expert is often necessary for a journalist to interpret complex science. On the other, journalists who don’t exercise discretion when deciding who deserves the “expert label” are easily played. If one looks hard enough, it is possible to find an expert who […]

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Close the door

February 18th, 2008 · 41 Comments · AAP

Tweet Anti-vaccine activists believe that the vaccine-autism canard is a majority view among affected parents. “If I wanted to find parents who had autistic children and who believed their child’s autism was impacted by vaccines,” notes one such activist, “I could just open my window and yell, because these parents are everywhere in my neighborhood […]

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Inquiring minds stand up for vaccines

February 9th, 2008 · 5 Comments · Kudos

Tweet The Philadelphia Inquirer has added its voice to the recent chorus of editorial boards and reporters who are standing against the discredited vaccine-autism link. Gone from these pieces are the fruitless attempts to “balance” the autism story with comments from fringe players who still maintain, with no credible evidence whatsoever, that government agencies, pharmaceutical […]

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School daze

February 3rd, 2008 · 52 Comments · Miseducation

Tweet If you’ve been following KOMU’s biased and misleading series, Combating Autism from Within, then you’re probably expecting nothing to come from the justifiable outrage expressed by evidence-based critics of the University of Missouri affiliated station. If you haven’t been following, then you should start, because this sad tale speaks to the larger problem with […]

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Avoid clichés like the plague

February 1st, 2008 · 6 Comments · Narrative

Tweet Reporting the news is fast-paced and deadline driven, and we don’t always have the time or space to say everything that needs to be said. Reporters can save time by relying on a story narrative or template into which they can plug facts, quotes and context. There’s the “man struggling against great odds” narrative. […]

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