Advertising, scepticism and zombies

Monday, 24 August 2009

Reading this means you have a 12% risk of getting cancer

I regard the mainstream media as an important source of information; not for the value of that information but for its influence. This is a source which is, of course, often wrong.
The worst cases are stories about healthcare - a popular sector for a particular type of newspaper because of the opportunities it provides to rehash seemingly innocuous data into something far more sinister. The Guardian's Dr Ben Goldacre frequently illustrates the Daily Mail's propensity for dividing every substance in the universe into those that cause cancer, and those that cure it.This simple presentation does an excellent job of debunking that common tool of the tabloid hack: the contextless percentage.

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