PACE Trial follow-up report | how the media have been covering the story | 28 October 2015

October 28, 2015


The Daily Telegraph put it on their front page and gave it this headline: “Exercise and positivity ‘can overcome ME'.”

The Daily Mail quoted Professor Michael Sharpe extensively but gave the MEA this shout:

ME can be beaten by taking more exercise and positive thinking, landmark study claims:

* Findings by team led by Oxford psychiatrist Professor Michael Sharpe
* They suggest counselling is best way to treat chronic fatigue syndrome
* Debate over whether ME is psychiatric condition or physiological disease
* ME Association has dismissed Professor Sharpe's claims as ‘bunkum'

Jon Cohen attempted something altogether more balanced in Science magazine:

Straight codswallop from the London Evening Standard:

The Guardian focused on The ME Association's “fierce rebuttal' of the claims – read Jessica Elgot's story here:

The NHS Choices website has analysed the news coverage HERE.

The Irish Independent 28 October 2015

Irish Independent, 29 October 2015 (features interview with Tom Kindlon, vice-chairman, The Irish ME Association).

Tech Times

Yahoo News UK

Boots Web MD

There have also be been interviews and discussions on the ‘Today' programme (BBC R4),
The Victoria Derbyshire Show on BBC 2 (discussion starts 1 hour 38 minutes in),
BBC Radio 5Live (discussion starts at 2hrs 38 minutes) ‘The Wright Stuff' (Channel 5),
BBC Radio Norfolk (includes interview with Dr Charles Shepherd, discussion starts 1hr 30mins)
and the Jeremy Vine show (BBC R2).
We will put up the missing links as we find them.

2 thoughts on “PACE Trial follow-up report | how the media have been covering the story | 28 October 2015”

  1. So sad and despondent that this sort of media coverage keeps happening – seems to be on a 6mth loop. It is a shame that all the biomedical/scientific advances are never given the same ‘frenzied’ reporting as the old discredited PACE trial receives. You think you’ve heard the last of it and there again it pops up. The headlines are disgraceful and insulting – ‘exercise and positive thinking’ – do those in the media just think we severe sufferers sit back and give in? It takes tremendous inner strength to get through each day while struggling with horrible symptoms. Why can’t there be more balanced reporting of this devastating illness – there are so many Specialists/Researchers in this country as well as round the world doing some encouraging and very hopeful research and there’s never so much as a cough in the media. The danger is that the general public do get influenced by this one-sided irresponsible reporting and those of us suffering with this illness are left feeling we’ve failed in their eyes. WE HAVE ENOUGH TO COPE WITH – please may the media give us some respect. Earlier this year ME was included in a book on hysterical illnesses – a whole chapter devoted to it and now it’s classed as a ‘non-illness’.

  2. I suggest that Sharpe, White et al.’s wildy exaggerated claims are a sign of desperation.

    The king’s new clothes are about to vanish – and he’s despearately trying to convince all the people who are sniggering behind his back that they’re delusional.
    Isn’t that typical of the psycho-zealots? ‘If you agree with me, you admit that you need my treatment; if you disagree with me, you’re so ill that you don’t know it.’
    Is that known as Catch 22?

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