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    Melissa Sweet

    Melissa Sweet

    The New York Times has some interesting comments on this story: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/22/health/22journalists.html?_r=1&emc=eta1&oref=slogin

    Interestingly, some of the groups making such awards have made changes in response to such concerns. The Australian and NZ Obesity Society no longer has a commercial sponsor for its award following adverse publicity on this issue a while back. In the interests of open disclosure, I am declaring that I received their 2008 award on the weekend, largely for my book, The Big Fat Conspiracy. When told I had won the award (I hadn’t applied for it; they do not take applications), my first question was whether it was sponsored. I felt much more comfortable knowing that it was not. I have mixed feelings on this issue – it’s nice to feel your work has been recognised and struggling freelancers are particularly likely to be appreciative of the cash – $1250 in this case. On the other hand, even though the award is not sponsored by a commercial interest, it is still debateable whether journalists should accept such awards from professional organisations at all.

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