Posted by: Chris Maloney | May 3, 2011

Colic: LA Times Posts Controversial Review As If It Were Established.

Reuters Building at Times Square, New York Cit...

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The LA Times is here to tell you to just let your children cry it out.  Truly, there is nothing to be done for colic.  I disagree strongly, though of course you should discuss whatever you give your baby with your pediatrician.

As an authority, the LA Times cites a recent review article.  Evidently the LA Times reporter was too busy to even read the “negative” review in question. 

I quote from the abstract:  “Eleven trials indicated a significant result in favor of complementary and alternative medicines.” I’ve dedicated a webpage to counteracting this particular spin article which takes positive studies and somehow concludes: “the notion that any form of complementary and alternative medicine is effective for infantile colic currently is not supported.” Really? What about thoses eleven studies that found a positive outcome?  What about the other abstracts I compiled after a brief search of medline that also support a variety of alternative treatments?  What about the Houston research on Klebsiella linking to infant colic, which would support the use of probiotics? 

So if I have the time to read an abstract, why doesn’t the journalist working for Reuters?  S/he gets paid to confirm stories and I’m doing it as a public service.  But it is very likely that I don’t have the deadlines and production quotas of a professional journalist.  Still, we are (some of us) still paying for newspaper subscriptions and we’d like to have a higher level of fact checking before publication. 

If, as has been the case more recently, volunteers are providing faster and more reliable coverage of news events, then where does that leave the professional journalists among us?  Have we reached a point where we no longer need the intermediaries and everyone should be freelance?  Or are we in desperate need for a return to professional ethics with the forceful exclusion of both ends of the political spectrum and objective reporting?  I’d love the latter. 

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