Whoops! Newscore, BBC News and Fox News Forgot to Fact-check

Bookmark and Share


By Jill—Unnecesarean

Newscore.com has allowed some sloppy journalism to slip through without any fact checking. The story was picked up by the BBC News, where health reporter Philippa Roxby wrote the article, “Should there be a limit on Caesareans?” FoxNews.com also ran the Newscore item titled, “Pressure Off to Reduce Number of Cesarean Births.”

Neither web site is accepting comments on articles, but this is my feedback.



How about some fact checking?

Page 5 of the WHO’s Monitoring emergency obstetric care: a handbook to which you refer clearly states: “The estimated proportion of births by caesarean section in the population is not less than 5% or more than 15%.”

The discussion on this, which you have partially cited, elaborates:

Although WHO has recommended since 1985 that the rate not exceed 10–15% (125), thereis no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage or range of percentages, despite a growing body of research that shows a negative effect of high rates (126-128). It should be noted that the proposed upper limit of 15% is not a target to be achieved but rather a threshold not to be exceeded. Nevertheless, the rates in most developed countries and in many urban areas of lesser-developed countries are above that threshold. Ultimately, what matters most is that all women who need caesarean sections actually receive them.

So the WHO still recommends, in their words, that “the proposed upper limit of 15% is not a target to be achieved but rather a threshold not to be exceeded.”

This was discussed in detail last year on the Science and Sensibility blog by Henci Goer.

If those quoted disagree with the WHO’s recommendation or take issue with their research, they should consider addressing it through proper channels instead of fabricating things in press releases. Please consider publishing a retraction or correction.


If any readers of The Unnecesarean are up for sending this to Newscore, the BBC News and FoxNews.com, please feel free. Newscore.com’s banner displays the following logos, so the story will probably pop up elsewhere.