Letters Media coverage of the NHS

The problem of selective briefings for a transparent NHS

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5872 (Published 09 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5872
  1. Alex C W May, independent researcher1
  1. 1Manchester M13 9DP, UK
  1. notactualsize{at}hotmail.com

Spence, when defending media coverage of the NHS, overlooks the problem of selective briefings.1 These undermine public confidence in government, the media, and the NHS.

Competition among newspapers to publish exclusive stories is fierce. Front page exclusives dominate broadcast newspaper reviews, raise brand awareness, and drive sales. Newspapers depend on advertising. The Department of Health for England controls the news on health and the NHS …

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