Posted by: Chris Maloney | October 16, 2011

Vitamin Trash Talk: When An Editor Matters More Than An Author.


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The Kennebec Journal ran an article recently that discussed all the shortfalls of vitamins.  I read the  short article and was left with the impression that Marilynn Marchione, Head Medical Writer for The Associated Press, must be a shill for the pharmaceutical industry.

BUT she isn’t.  In fact, she just recently won the Victor Cohn prize for excellence in Medical Science Journalism for her objectivity.

The issue puzzled me for a quite a while.  How could someone who evidently writes wonderfully objective prose become so one-sided and just trash on vitamins for a few paragraphs?  It’s almost as if we’re dealing with two people here.

And we are.  The article I read is not the one that she wrote.  I couldn’t believe what the Portland Press Herald published and what I read.  Although both papers have the same publisher and many of the same writers, the local Kennebec Journal editorial board has “taken liberties.”

Here’s a link to the Portland Press Herald Article.

I was unable to find the Kennebec Journal’s version of the article posted anywhere online.  Here’s a scan of the article.

kennebec journal vitamins 101411

Ok, when you read through the beginnings of both articles, they are identical.  But the objective part is when Marchione starts listing off legitimate vitamin deficiencies that people may have.  Certainly here in Maine we should be concerned with getting enough vitamin D during the coldest months.

By truncating the article at less than the half-way mark, the editors of the Kennebec Journal have completely changed the way the article reads.  Instead of a discussion of concern about vitamins and doing what’s best, the article is a complete trash on any supplementation.  It wasn’t what Ms. Marchione meant and it shouldn’t contain her byline.


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