Local TV Pushes Fake Medical News

Hospital-produced promos are passed off as news reports by local stations
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2007 8:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – TV stations across America broadcast fake medical news stories that are really ads produced by providers to tout their new techniques and procedures, according to an investigation by the Columbia Journalism Review. “I kick, scream, and fight, and make them as journalistically ethical as possible," says one reporter. "It makes me sick.”

Big hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic have teams that produce segments and send them off to local TV stations, who broadcast them as news reports. Some providers pay stations to run the spots; some are simply run to cut newsroom costs. CJR argues that they not only deceive viewers, but discourage reporting on things like hospital errors.