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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Wins First Health Journalism Award from Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
Date:2/5/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the first news organization to receive an award for Excellence in Health Journalism from the Boston-based Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making. The Foundation, which presented the award yesterday at its Research and Policy Forum in Washington DC, chose the Milwaukee newspaper because of its consistently high ratings by

HealthNewsReview.org. That web-based project, funded by the Foundation, is the only organization of its kind in the US that reviews the quality of health news reporting nationwide each day.

"We were very surprised and pleased by this recognition," said Becky Lang, the Journal Sentinel's health and science editor. "In the current media environment of instant Internet coverage and reduced staffing in credible news outlets, the pressure is on for us to keep the standards high. It is even more important than ever for us to provide health stories that are meaningful, accurate, reader friendly and that delve deeper than the surface. We welcome this kind of oversight."

"The Journal Sentinel has been reviewed a dozen times and nine of those stories received high marks with four- or five-star reviews, more than any other newspaper of this size in our experience so far, " says Gary Schwitzer, associate professor of the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication and publisher of HealthNewsReview.org. Schwitzer began the website with the support of the Foundation because of his belief that health reporting can, if not balanced, have a profound, often negative, impact on the public's ability to make medical decisions.

Since the launch of HealthNewsReview.org in 2006, Schwitzer and his team have reviewed more than 700 articles and stories, and published an analysis of the first 500 in the April 2008 edition of the journal PLoS M
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SOURCE Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making
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