Comparing news and solutions reporting

Solutions: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/04/29/403034819/why-not-start-addiction-treatment-right-in-the-er

News: http://triblive.com/news/projects/ourstories/11885404-74/casey-michelle-mom

In an article that appeared on the NPR site titled “Why Not Start Addiction Treatment Right In The ER?” the story discusses the work of Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, chief of emergency medicine at Yale University’s medical school, and her colleagues. The team tested whether prescribing medicine to ease withdrawal symptoms and combining that with brief counseling and focused referral would improve an individual’s chances of receiving treatment.

The article presents the results of the study, in a non-jargon-y way and shows that it was successful, for that region. The article presents solid data to back it up, but also made it clear that this may not work everywhere. “How effective this approach might be in other ERs isn’t known” because it was only performed in one hospital. I think the writer overall did a great job presenting it as a solutions piece, but not making it into a cookie-cutter, “this is the answer to all addiction treatment.”

In comparison, the article in the Tribune-Review is a romanticized story of addiction, in my opinion. It is very sad that this family lost their daughter, someone who had a great life ahead of her I’m sure, but I’m unsure of what telling her story, from the day she was born, until her death, accomplishes. I think often times, journalists will write stories like that because they know it is somewhat clickbait. I think it may have been more effective to tell her story, but also combine it with something that is working, or include at the end of the story phone numbers to recovery treatment centers in the area.

About the author

Emily Scott

Emily Scott is a junior journalism major and history minor at Temple University. She works as the Features Editor of The Temple News, editing and covering people, places and things around campus and the city. Contact Emily at tuf39703@temple.edu.

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By Emily Scott