News media goals versus trial site goals

Media goals/functionsTrial site goalsHow to reconcile
Report the news and inform the public; entertain and persuadeEducate communities about the issue, the product being studied, or the trialWrite materials showing the human face of the issue, provide a news hook that brings in a community perspective
Sell papers or advertizing timeUndertake a trial efficiently and ethically; gain visibility for the institution or the issue studiedOffer compelling quotes, an interesting angle, and eye-catching photo opportunities from your site or an event
Reflect the views and opinions of societyChange society by developing new tools to prevent or treat disease, or new public health interventionsDemonstrate that research teams and opinion leaders care about big issues like justice, ethics, and health
Focus on short-term or high-profile eventsFocus on longer-term health goals; build long-term research literacy in the communitySuggest story angles that link your research or main message to a current event or to a timeless health issue such as maternal mortality
Present a number of varying opinionsPresent accurate messages that convey the importance of the research and the issue studiedListen to concerns; calmly but directly address misinformation or misrepresentations; communicate science clearly
Seek the truthProvide an accurate view of a continuously changing trial or evolving scientific issueContextualize research to promote understanding of complex issues

October 8th, 2013