Invest in ME Conference 12: First Class in Every Way
OverTheHills wraps up our series of articles on this year's 12th Invest in ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London with some reflections on her experience as a patient attending the conference for the first time.
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"Time to swot up on chronic fatigue" - New Statesman

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kyla, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/observations/2015/11/time-swot-chronic-fatigue

    Not perfect and once again a title shortened to "chronic fatigue"...but pretty good for a short piece.

    Have personally never heard of this newspaper or the author so no idea as to any previous coverage of ME or CFS
    Maybe someone in the UK can weigh in :)

    There is no comment section, but the author is on Twitter if you want to send thanks ... or links to Tuller and Coyne;)

     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  2. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    The New Statesman is a left of centre political magazine. I have a very vague memory of them publishing something useful about ME before but couldn't swear to it, but they have certainly carried pieces by Frances Ryan and Rosie Fletcher on problems PWME have claiming benefits.

    They are also rivals to The Spectator (their right wing counterpart), so maybe this is a bit of daggers-drawn stuff after recent articles by Rod Liddle and Isabel Hardman. Never heard of Michael Brooks, but he looks like he's at least on the right lines (to be clear, I haven't read it properly yet).

    Edit - read it now. A little sparse, but not too bad by any means.

    Edit again - a brief search yields this, which is I think what I remember:
    https://meagenda.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/new-statesman-wessely-article/

    and this, about GWS and ME
    http://www.newstatesman.com/node/161033

    Haven't seen anything else, but it seems to be a broadly sympathetic line.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
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  3. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Definitely an improvement on a lot of what we've had to endure lately.

    I like:

    He makes that statement presumably in reference to the Rituximab trials, which he mentions earlier, though I think he has it slightly wrong when he says "The drug destroys the immune system’s white blood cells", doesn't he? Surely just one subtype?
     
  4. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    A friend just showed me this in the paper edition and I agree it's pretty good.

    @Kyla, in fairness to the author I think it would be best not to post his entire article here (it's copyright) but maybe just the first para so that people will go to the New Statesman and give him well-deserved traffic to his article. That will encourage the editors to give us more good coverage from him.
     
  5. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    good point.
    edited.
     
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  6. BurnA

    BurnA Senior Member

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    I think we are being picky if this the level of criticism. In fact if this was the level of criticism in all articles I think we would be very happy !
     
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  7. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    I thought overall it was good but the thing that annoys me is the report that CBT and GET out performed other treatments. I don't blame the journalist for this since the Oxford University press release and paper abstract were deliberately misleading. But it is a good example of how bad press releases/paper abstracts lead to misleading press coverage.
     
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  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    They quoted a couple of statements by the MEA against the PACE stuff but neither addressed the central point - that the effect was actually null.
     
  9. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I really like the fact that the article ends with the reminder to doctors to 'first,do no harm'.
     
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  10. Sidereal

    Sidereal Senior Member

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    Interesting background.
     
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  11. Battery Muncher

    Battery Muncher Senior Member

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    IIRC, Michael Brooks is a reasonaly popular popular science writer (in the UK).
     
  12. worldbackwards

    worldbackwards A unique snowflake

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    They knew they could carry this on reputation and that we'd look like we were quibbling over technicalities, rather than the actual results. It's a good example of Ronald Reagan's political maxim, "If you're explaining, you're losing".

    *sigh*
     
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  13. user9876

    user9876 Senior Member

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    That's one of the reasons to point out the issue with science journalists. They may then think twice as the reputation goes down.
     
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  14. SOC

    SOC

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    I realize this reminder is getting old, but on the chance that new members might not think of these things ----
    Please click through to to the article even if you're not up to reading the whole thing. Lots of traffic to the article tells the author and the publisher that there's a lot of interest in this topic. We want the good articles to get tons of traffic, the bad ones, not so much.

    Sometimes I fear that in our indignation, we give too much traffic to bad articles, encourging more of the same. Let's make sure we reward the good articles, not the bad ones.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
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  15. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member

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    Yes this article deserves as much traffic as we can give it
     
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  16. SOC

    SOC

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    Does anyone know if the same person/computer going back to the article gives it additional hits, or whether the counting software is more complex than that? I had to go back to Virginia Gewin's article a number of times to reread after (to me) puzzling comment on it were made on PR. Maybe I gave it more hits than it deserved :(. If it's worthwhile, I'll go back to the "Time to Swot up..." article multiple times to reflect what I think about it's importance relative to Virginia's piece.
     
  17. richio76

    richio76

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    Hits are only important to the bean counters. Comments add to or detract from an article's credibility.
     
  18. JayS

    JayS Senior Member

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    What the bean counters have to say can have influence if someone wants to try to write more on the same topic in the same publication.
     
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  19. Kyla

    Kyla ᴀɴɴɪᴇ ɢꜱᴀᴍᴩᴇʟ

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    Those will both show up separately in analytics (total hits/pageviews and unique users). and they likely consider both valuable if they are looking for reaction to a piece, and for ad dollars.
    its unfortunately also why "controversial" pieces do really well.
    so yes lots of traffic to good articles is a good thing.
     
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  20. richio76

    richio76

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    Yes, but I don't think one person leaving several footbprints is going to influence that one way or the other.
     

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