Media ethics pitfalls of pay-for-play broadcast health information

Media ethics pitfalls of pay-for-play broadcast health information

This would be a good case study for the next textbook on media ethics.

On radio and television in the Providence, Rhode Island area, Dr. Tad Sztykowski bought media time to reach listeners and viewers about his work at his Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing.

Now he may need to buy time to think about what’s next in his career, after the state of Rhode Island ordered him to “surrender his Rhode Island license as a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine” and to “cease and desist from holding himself out as a licensed physician.”

First, since we focus on media issues on this site, let’s look at the media buys.  They are a hallmark of WPRI Media, which states, “We want to work with a business, partner with them and help them understand the best use of their advertising dollars. …WPRI Media includes WPRI Channel 12 (CBS), WNAC Fox Providence (FOX) and myRITV (myNetworkTV). Our digital platforms include, and Lin Digital.”

Dr. Tad bought his way into television appearances on WPRI-TV’s “The Rhode Show,” which boasts, “The Rhode Show offers local professionals and business owners the chance to promote their business within the program. With a variety of sponsorship and segment purchase options The Rhode Show will help you to develop one on one relationships with local consumers.” Here’s a video of one of Dr. Tad’s appearances on “The Rhode Show.”

WPRO News Talk radio station (630 AM, 99.7 FM) has apparently taken down from its website any mention of Dr. Tad, although I found a cached version of his bio and a listing for “The Dr. Tad Show.”  Excerpts of that bio:

Dr. Tad established his first practice in September of 1990, since then Centers for Integrative Medicine and Healing has successfully treated over 21,000 patients with their health problems with a 97% success rate. Dr. Tad has additionally treated 25,000 patients with Western Medicine. … Dr. Tad has delivered more than 5,000 newborns, performed 2,000 surgeries, has treated more than 40,000 patients with both Western Medicine and Oriental Medicine and is a licensed M.D. in 28 Countries.

But now Dr. Tad’s reputation has taken a hit, as will WPRI Media’s revenue stream from Dr. Tad’s pay-for-play appearances.

The GoLocalProv website posted the official consent order for voluntary surrender of license, but excerpted some of the order:

The (Rhode Island) Department of Health has ordered Dr. Tad to “refrain from advertising or marketing that is false, deceptive or misleading, or that is likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public.”

Further, the Department stated the “respondent shall cease and desist from holding himself out as a licensed physician.”

The next day, the GoLocalProv site followed up with some comments from Dr. Tad’s critics and supporters.  But one observer blamed the WPRI Media entities:

“The [Rhode Show] and every other media that had him as a guest should have made it crystal clear he was not board certified in the U.S. It sounds like many people have been caused stress and possibly harm at his hands. Everyone should do their due diligence, ask questions… a back ground check…don’t just assume all doctors are good,” wrote Paul Schwartz. “Some are amazing and will do everything in their power to help you and show compassion…others should be ashamed to call themselves doctors.”

In recent weeks, we’ve been reporting on conflicts of interest in health care journalism. And we have several more stories in the works.  You can find them all archived here.

Dr. Tad’s radio or TV appearances were not “journalism.”  But the pay-for-play arrangements of media companies present troubling media ethics situations for ownership.  Will they take money from anyone?  Who verifies the claims made by “guests” who pay their way on the air? How is the public protected from conflicts of interests, with broadcast stations turning over the airwaves to people with vested interests? Remember when we once viewed radio and TV as “the public airwaves”?  What a quaint concept.  56 years ago, Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow called television, “the vast wasteland.”  Today, that could be extended to much of what is heard on local commercial radio as well.

As we always do on this site, we point out that when conflicted media messages concern health issues, people can be harmed.  So a practitioner’s license was taken away.   But who will do anything about the media entity at the heart of this story?

The Effects of Stress on Your Body and Mind Are Staggering! Watch The Video Below To See What You Can Do To Regain Your Health...

Discover How Laminine™ Can Improve Your Health... Watch The Video Above!

Laminine™ Will Help Anyone. The Benefits, When Taken Regularly May Include...

  • Moderate the Stress Response
  • Maintain Healthy Cortisol Levels
  • Regulate Serotonin Levels
  • Reduce Physical and Mental Stress
  • Help Your Body Recover from Major Illnesses (e.g. Depression, Anxiety, Cancer)
  • Promote More Restful Sleep
  • Build Collagen for Healthier Skin
  • Reduce Signs of Normal Aging
  • Improve Emotional Balance
  • Promote Faster Post Workout Recovery
And Many More Health Benefits Reported By Everyday Users!




  • Enhance Muscle Tone and Strength
  • Improve Stamina and Energy
  • Increase Alertness
  • Aid in Brain Function and Activity (For people suffering from Alzheimer's syndrome, ADD, etc.)
  • Increase Physical and Mental Strength
  • Improve Focus
  • Increase Libido/Sexual Desire
  • Stimulate Natural DHEA Production
  • Improve the Overall Sense of Well-Being

Make 2017... the Year You Improve Your Health!

Join Thousands in 42 Countries (shown at the bottom of this page) Who Are Already Seeing Amazing Health Benefits from Regular Use of Laminine™ & Laminine™ Omega Plus!

"The Happy Pill"

Laminine™ is a Natural, Synergistic SuperFood that contains 22 amino acids, trace minerals, vitamins and Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) The perfect combination of life-giving sustenance sourced from land, sea and plant. Its source is from the "Miracle of Life". 

 Clinical Studies have been conducted which showed Laminine's™ positive effects on Physical, Mental, Emotional Strengths and Overall Health. Laminine™ is an all Natural Product
CLICK HERE To Join My Group & Order (Wholesale) & Choose the "Laminine™ Activation Pack"

After Clicking on One of the Links Below, Just CLICK the "Click Here to Agree and Continue" Button in the "Informed Consent and Participation Agreement" Form... to Begin Your Own Personal Q & A Session on How Laminine and Laminine Omega +++ Can Help You Achieve PERFECT Health.

Updated: June 28, 2017 — 5:00 pm

Copyright © 2019 - All Rights Reserved - Site Map - Resources (Add Your Link)

The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician.

Glenn Freiboth - (815) 524-3752 - CST - [email protected] - Company Site
An Independent Lifepharm® Distributor

Available In The Countries Below: 

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States - More Countries Coming Soon!