Ultraviolet Without the Sunlight

A review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggested that tanning at the beach or an indoor tanning booth can help avoid the dangers of vitamin D deficiency. However, the NEJM didn't disclose that the article's author, Michael Holick, has received more than $150,000 in research funding from the artificial tanning industry.


Finally, Advertisers Have More Say

NBC Universal and Omnicom's Media Group Digital are partnering to create online videos "that help advertisers sell their products." The first "Digital Studio" programs will include "a science-fiction series starring Rosario Dawson called 'Gemini Division' and a quirky comedy about a college-aged zombie called 'Woke Up Dead,'" reports AP.


Featured Participatory Project: Outing Front Groups

Citizen journalism logoOften readers and citizen journalists will come across a name of a group that seems a little at odds with the policy message they are promoting. Some of these names were added to the SourceWatch page on front groups with the intention of returning to create an article on that at a later date.


New Participatory Project: Maximum Weirdness: Tobacco Industry Brainstorming Documents

brainstormA rock cocaine cigarette filter? A cigarette that delivers birth control and sexual stimulant drugs to the smoker at the same time? A geriatric brand? All of these are actual ideas for new products and promotions that were recorded at cigarette company "brainstorming" meetings.


University Helps Censor "One-Sided" Science

Administrators of "Popline," the "world's largest scientific database on reproductive health," which is housed at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health, "blocked the word 'abortion' as a search term after receiving a complaint from the Bush administration over two abortion-related articles listed in the database." The search block has since been


War? What War?

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, coverage of war in Iraq filled a fourth of the news hole in January 2007 but now only fills 4 percent."Five years later, the United States remains at war in Iraq, but there are days when it would be hard to tell from a quick look at television news, newspapers and the Internet," observes New York Times reporter Richard Pérez-Peña. "Media attention on Iraq began to wane after the first months of fighting, but as recently as the middle of last year, it was still the most-covered topic. Since then, Iraq coverage by major American news sources has plummeted, to about one-fifth of what it was last summer, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism."

The past week saw a dramatic escalation in violence in Iraq and rising civilian deaths, prompting analysts to warn that "Iraqis may be about to witness a new phase in the cycle of violence ... intra-Shi'ite bloodletting that could tear Iraq apart and more deeply embroil U.S. forces." But even these developments have barely cast a media ripple.

The Iraq war has also been losing ground for attention on the internet, according to a recent report which shows that "the war in Iraq continues to decline in search interest, down 120 percent over the past three and a half years," while interest turns to topics such as Paris Hilton, Ashley Alexandra Dupre, Heath Ledger and the latest YouTube video.


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