The Toronto Star’s HPV fail reveals a wider problem: the journalists who inform us about science are increasingly scientifically illiterate. Vox.com health reporter Julia Belluz talks about why bad science journalism is perhaps the most dangerous kind of bad journalism.
Kevin Donovan, the Toronto Star’s Investigative Editor, defends the paper’s HPV vaccine reporting in a statement provided to CANADALAND.
The next episode of CANADALAND (Monday, Feb.16) will include a feature chat with Julia Belluz, the health reporter who Toronto Star Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke told to “stop drinking his bathwater” when she questioned him about their flawed front-page investigation into the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Star publisher John Cruikshank has since told the CBC that his paper “failed” in the reporting of this story, and that he and Cooke take responsibility. At this time, The Star has not corrected or retracted their story, and Michael Cooke has not apologized to Julia Belluz.
The following is an excerpt from the upcoming interview with Belluz.
The Star’s reporting downplayed or ignored basic facts and failed in its journalistic responsibility to cover matters of health and science objectively, or at least competently. It should be a future study in bad health reporting.
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