"Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, medical advances in the development of new vaccines, and controversy over legislative attempts to strengthen state immunization laws means that vaccines are often in the news. While it’s easy for members of the media to track the development of new vaccines and report on disease outbreaks using data from state health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other sources of medical and scientific information, it can be far more difficult to accurately report on the social aspect of vaccines.
Reporting on the perceived controversy over the safety and effectiveness of vaccines can be particularly difficult—especially since no controversy involving the safety and effectiveness of vaccines actually exists.
Still, reporters often find the manufactured controversy interesting, since it stirs up a great deal of public interest. And, because journalists are trained to take an objective approach to their reporting and to provide balance, they can fall prey to what is termed “false balance.” This common journalistic error can have particularly unfortunate results in the realms vaccines and climate science". - Avoiding False Balance: Vaccines and the Media