Churnalism – Media Watch
Media coverage of HIV research findings should avoid the trap of “churnalism” and report responsibly.
A SAPA report on a recent breakthrough in the development of a cure for HIV – namely, the ability of the cancer drug vorinostat to draw out the virus in infected cells – was picked up by a number of local media outlets last week.
While this news is indeed exciting, the way in which it was reported was not. The heavy reliance on press releases and wire reports rather than independent, thoughtful research is indicative of a troubling trend of lazy reporting and “churnalism" , especially in the field of HIV reporting.