There's a very interesting post on Blogborygmi about influence-peddling that compares the current firestorm over physicians and possible conflicts of interest to the media and its potential for bias, particularly when it comes to political coverage.
Most interesting to me was the conclusion, where after arguing that journalists have less to lose than physicians do for fighting bias in their work, the writer says:
- Journalists, with less to lose, tend to deny bias. Medical professionals, with so much more at stake, are leading the charge against the influence of pharmaceuticals.
Sure, the problem of media bias is less likely to kill people (at least, not directly), and solutions aren't as easy to imagine (a "fair and balanced" review board?). But biased reporters are as repugnant to the code of journalism as corrupt doctors are to the oath of Hippocrates.
I just find it gratifying that doctors are trying to protect their patients from the possibility of bias, at their own measurable expense, while many journalists continue to insist they're not biased at all.
While I disagree about journalists taking bias less than seriously, he does make a good point about the docs. What do you think?
To comment on this post, click on "comments" below. To receive a weekly update, e-mail Sue.