We touched on this topic briefly during a class session, discussing the challenge involved in trying to provide accuracy as a knowledgeable professional, while dealing with television producers whose job it is to provide drama and excitement for the viewer. Often accuracy goes out the window. After 25 years of dealing with the same myself on the news side, I can relate personally.
This article, from Forbes.com, addresses the issue of how these programs frequently make mistakes in the information ultimately shared with viewers, despite their reliance on any number of experts and consultants there to provide accurate representations of diseases, and medical procedures. With a more sophisticated consumer/viewer, there's little concern that these shows are seen as nothing more than entertainment. However, a number of studies have published data that this perception may be far from reality.
It's no secret that many lay people get and rely more and more on information gleaned from popular media, and less from reliable sources. These studies, published in several scholarly journals, presented findings that showed viewer perceptions and beliefs about procedures such as cosmetic surgery, to organ donation, that were directly attributable to these programs.
So what do you think?
Is this unfolding trend the result of blatant disregard for the facts on the part of TV networks, who use creative license beyond its purpose--in other words taking entertainment too far--or are the studies over dramatizing the issue and "making something out of nothing"?