Thursday, July 28, 2011

Minimal Media Attention to CIRM Reaction to Lawsuit Dismissal

The California stem cell agency drew little notice in mainstream media coverage this morning of yesterday's court decision dismissing a challenge to federal funding of hESC research.

That was pretty much to be expected given the lateness of the CIRM reaction to the news and was not an auspicious beginning for the "communications war" discussed last month by new CIRM Chairman Jonathan Thomas.

CIRM posted a news release with its reaction around midafternoon West Coast time. The first news stories about the decision appeared about six hours earlier.

The only mention we could find this morning of CIRM's official reaction was in a story by Eryn Brown of the Los Angeles Times. Her last paragraph read:
"'We clearly think it's the right decision,'" said Dr. Jonathan Thomas, chairman of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell funding agency. 'It will now lift the cloud that's been hanging over researchers around the country.'"
The Associated Press story, most likely the most widely used and read article across the country, contained no mention of CIRM. It appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and San Diego Union-Tribune web sites.

At The Sacramento Bee, which also carried the AP story, readers searching on the term "stem cell lawsuit" would have additionally seen a press release on PR Newswire from the Family Research Council, which is no friend of hESC research or CIRM. The public relations news service delivers press releases to many news sites around the country.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this item carried a reference to an article in the San Diego Union Tribune. That article, however, was published prior to the decision referred to in this story. )

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