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February 25, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(8):663-668. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960430053010

FACTS AND FEELINGS ABOUT NEWSPAPER MEDICAL COVERAGE  1. STATISTICAL STUDY OF 1,260 NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS FROM EIGHTY-NINE NEWSPAPERS DURING A SEVEN-MONTH PERIOD IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREAHarry A. Wilmer, M.D., Ph.D., Menlo Park, Calif.If one searches the medical literature to learn how the doctor, medicine, and the medical institution are dealt with in newspapers, one finds only subjective answers. I have discovered no statistical study of medical news as handled in the daily press. The subjective analysis by Backlin1 of 10 years' news clippings about mental illness in Sweden is unique. To evaluate newspapers' attitudes toward medicine and the effect of the interpretation of medical ethics on news and what the public reads about medicine in the daily papers, it is necessary to have more than subjective opinions.

Method of Study  The public relations committee of the San Mateo County (California) Medical Society employed a professional news-clipping bureau