Dart to the U.S. news media, for failing to pick up a long-distance signal. When mainstream papers in Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Canada, and elsewhere recently rang, sometimes on page one, with the findings of a five-country study that showed a statistically significant increase in a certain type of brain tumor among people who had used cell phones for ten years or more, one might have expected the American press to at least record the message–particularly since the telecom industry here keeps hoping that the fcc and the federal health agencies will raise the levels of cell-phone radiation currently allowed. But with rare exceptions–the South Florida Sun-Sentinel was one–global expectations would have been misplaced. Instead, it was left to the independent newsletter Microwave News to provide a comprehensive, comprehensible account of the controversial findings. Memo to journalists: call waiting. 

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Gloria Cooper is CJR’s deputy executive editor.