Re-Check joined the European Investigative Journalism Conference, that took place in Mechelen, Belgium, In May 2018.

We were honored to have the chance to teach one day long to a group of investigative reporters of several countries. Conflicts of interest, debunking flawed health news and how to assess the evidence quality were at the core of our hands-on training. Among the tools, we passed over our beloved Sci-Hub (free access to biomedical journals) and of course the basics of Evidence-based Medicine.

We also gave a panel on “Investigating medical tenders”, there our focus was on questioning always the appropriateness and efficacy of an intervention, before crying for your government to be cruel if it doesn’t want to pay for an expansive new drug. We showed with our mapping and visualization tools how the picture is more complicated than it might look like, with so many influencers and so much money at stake. And insisted that it’s too easy to look at the usual suspects labeling them as “bad guys”.

It’s definitely more complicated than that.

Our hand-out is available on the conference website:

And that’s how our daylong training was presented by the conference organizers:

“Early cancer diagnosis always increases the chances of survival”; “Prevention is better than cure”, “The newest therapies are the most effective.”

How many times did you hear such claims? Did you maybe use these assumptions in your work as a journalist?

Here is the bad news: These are three examples of NOT-evidence based statements. And here is the good news: Everybody can become a good reporter in this field, following and applying the best ethics and standards.

This masterclass is a good place to start!

In this one-day seminar you will learn:

  • Who the “bad guys” are, and why reality is more complicated than you think;
  • Why a study is not just a study, and how to critically appraise its significance;
  • How to assess the quality of the best available evidence;
  • Tools and tricks to identify the stakeholders and their agendas;
  • How to find and document conflicts of interest, and why it is relevant;
  • How to get the numbers straight applying Evidence-based medicine (EBM) to journalism.