THE TENTH annual American Medical Association's (AMA) Science Reporters Conference began with discussion on "Funding Guidelines and Ethical Issues for Medical Broadcasters and Medical Education," led by members of the National Association of Physician Broadcasters.
Among the insights elicited by the dialogue was the realization that physician reporters often have an agenda quite different from that of their nonphysician colleagues. While physician reporters generally seek to disseminate information that will promote public health, many lay reporters believe their role is to inform the public about the news, whether that news will be beneficial or harmful.
The AMA conference, which was held in Atlanta, Ga, was cosponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Emory University School of Medicine, both on the outskirts of Atlanta. Not surprisingly, more than half the program was devoted to public health issues, ranging from lead poisoning to chronic fatigue syndrome to a demonstration of