Last week saw the publication of a piece by BU Professors Vanora Hundley and Edwin van Teijlingen in The Conversation under the title: “Why UK midwives stopped the campaign for ‘normal birth’”. The editor of The Conversation invited the authors to write in reply to the statement: “According to media reports, women will no longer be told they should have an intervention-free birth and midwives will be encouraged to use terms a “physiological birth” rather than “normal birth”. We are looking for an expert to comment on this.”
The resulting article is the result of a quite long process of writing a draft, which was initially edited by The Conversation in a way the authors did not feel represented what they wanted to say. In our original submission we raised the role of the media with regard to responsible reporting, but it seems this was a step too far. In submitting a re-written version, which was edited again before it came back to the authors, we were advised that academics should not ‘blame the media’ since that avoids addressing the issue, but what if the media really does have a role? After seven or eight major alterations we reached and an agreed version that we think is a balance and fairly easy to read newspaper article. Our new book Midwifery, Childbirth and the Media due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan will cover these media issue in greater detail.
Professors Vanora Hundley & Edwin van Teijlingen