In February 2001 and July 2002, the BBC News Health Section ran two stories describing findings surrounding the asthma gene ADAM33. While it is cumbersome to compare stories reporting on two different studies at two different times, there is overlap in the way both reports conveyed their data. First, both stories relied heavily on the use of quotations to tell their stories. The 2002 report Gene Causes Many Asthma Cases quotes Stephen Holgate: the director of the study, and Donna Covey: CE of UK National Asthma Campaign. Each quote conveys excitement about the study and lofty goals for its possible implications. The 2001 report Asthma Gene Discovery Brings Hope is similar in this respect. It is worth noting however that all but one of the quotations, in this story, are from the program director Stephen Holgate.
Both the 2001 and 2002 papers offered background information on asthma as well. The background information of the 2001 paper however focused mostly on the demographics of the disease while the 2002 paper focused on its possible causes and symptoms. Consequently, both reports failed to present background information that was not immediatly pertinent to their story.
The reports were similar with respect to the nature of the information left out of the report. Specifically, statements clarifying the methods of data acquisition were limited (in both reports) to the population size of the studied group. Also, both reports failed to include raw data. Instead, both the 2001 and 2002 stories seem to immediately jump into a conclusions section after stating the purpose of the study, and giving some brief background information.
Lastly, other similarities include a failure to recognize the shortcomings of the study and possible future works. Also both reports were written for a non-scientific audience.
Statement Breakdown of BBC article: Gene Causes Many Asthma Cases
Statement Breakdown of BBC article: Asthma Gene Discovery Brings Hope
Graphical Comparison of the Two Articles
Image obtained http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2119668.stm