Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Media Can Make a Difference

It seems pretty clear that Senator Udall's concern about helmet producers' claims about concussions is due to the coverage provided by Alan Schwarz's series of articles, so it is only fair that Schwarz write about the Senator.
“Athletes, coaches and parents today are increasingly aware of the danger of concussion, and this awareness influences decisions about buying new and reconditioned football helmets,” wrote Udall, who last month initiated an inquiry into football helmets by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “Athletes who have already suffered a concussion — as well as their coaches and parents — may be particularly susceptible to misleading marketing claims about helmet safety.”
The helmet maker in question now is all eager to be transparent.  Funny how often that happens so late in the game.

Anyhow, Schwarz has fun citing himself (a game not just for academics):
As parents and coaches have become increasingly worried about protection against concussions, claims by helmet manufacturers — often embellished by local sales representatives — have come under unprecedented scrutiny. An investigation by The New York Times, published in October, highlighted misinformation as well as lapses in helmet-testing protocol. Udall’s letter focused on helmet-company advertising.
 Insert suitable metaphor here of helmet-maker taking a blow to the head.

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