No longer taking the piss: When tabloid journalism goes from foolish to dangerous.

On 24 April 2017, the Daily Mail published an article with the title statement “Going to the loo ‘just in case’? Don’t – it could wreck your bladder”. With a daily print circulation of 1.5 million (December 2016) and 100 million unique online visitors per month, the newspaper dispenses alarming and dangerous advice which may encourage people to hold in their urine, thereby risking urinary tract infections and renal impairment.

The article itself, apart from a number of lurid stock photos, is less sensationalist in tone than the headline.  However, the focus is so scattershot (bouncing from the volume of urine that a bladder can hold, to a brief differential diagnosis of polyuria, the use of earplugs, men exercising their pelvic floor, and even David Cameron’s Brexit negotiations) that the only “take home message” risks being the first line for the newspaper’s readers. With an average reader age of 58, many of the Daily Mail’s readers will suffer from nocturia and take such advice to heart.

Dismissing tabloid medical journalism as beneath scrutiny is done at our peril, as many patients rely on newspapers to build their knowledge base and engagement can be significantly affected by what is understood to be true. When this message is dangerously incorrect, it should be confronted and disputed.


Jeremy Hunt – Too Early in the Morning

Jeremy Hunt says it is too early in the morning to understand the arithmetic with his new contract proposal.

Nevertheless, 7am-7pm Monday to Friday is currently consider normal working hours for junior doctors.

And under his new proposal, normal working hours will be extended to 7am-10pm Monday to Saturday.

Unlike Jeremy in this clip, Junior Doctors have to be alert and awake when they start their shifts. Increasing their “normal working hours” won’t help.

All rights belong to the BBC. Thank you to Dr Conor Dalby for procuring the video. Classical music is the Beginning of the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini