I used to like WebMD. Back in the heady, wild west days of the Internet, I felt like they were a reliable source for health information. So when my insurance plan came bundled with all of these WebMD resources, I thought, “Kewl! I’ll get some extra information resources from a reliable source about health.” HA!
They seem to have lost the journalistic standards that made them one of my favorite sites back in my naive days of starry-eyed Internet newb-ness.
Take for example, one of today’s headlines:
OMG! I must become a monk, take my vow of celibacy, and sit and meditate in a relaxed position all day!
But wait, read on into the first sentence and you discover that the risk is “small and transient”. Then why report on it?! I guess page views are more important than alarming or confusing people about their health.
More and more I find headlines like that in my RSS feed from WebMD, and more and more when I click on them I find that kind of “World ending! Tune in at 11.” style of journalism. I guess health isn’t science anymore. It’s just a source of pumping out a lot of stories.
It’s enough to give me a heart attack.