Category Archives: Covering medical studies

Helmsley Charitable Trust backs better health journalism with $1.3 million grant

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

The Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, the educational arm of the Association of Health Care Journalists, has been awarded a grant of nearly $1.3 million to provide educational opportunities and resources for journalists on health care issues that result in more knowledgeable reporters and better, more trustworthy, stories for the public.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust made the three-year grant of $1,291,452 to the Missouri-based center to boost the competency of the U.S. health journalist corps and to increase the number of other journalists capable of tackling stories that serve the general public in producing accurate and actionable information.

“We continue to see a hunger within the journalism world for focused career development, topical education and skills training that will lead to stronger stories and meaningful impact,” said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ. “The Helmsley Charitable Trust’s continued generous support recognizes how important it is to reward that desire to be better, to make a difference – now more than ever.”

The funding will support work in three general areas: conferences/workshops, fellowship programs and web resources.

Read more about the specific projects that will be supported.

Story ideas revealed in intersection of mental illness, criminal justice system

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

One of the sessions featured at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando explored the intersection of the criminal justice system and mental illness in the United States from various angles. This Storify includes tweets from multiple attendees at the session – along with quite a number of leads for story ideas.

A fair amount of the session was unfortunately unsurprising in revealing how the justice system has become one of the nation’s biggest mental health care providers (if not the largest), but hearing about the sheer scale of the problem was nonetheless enlightening and disturbing. This topic area is rich with potential story ideas that are woefully undercovered and underappreciated. Continue reading

Experienced freelancers provide valuable tips, advice

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJEmily Gurnon, an editor with PBS Next Avenue, urges attendees to do research on the publications they pitch to. Michele Cohen Marill (right), an independent journalist in Atlanta, moderated the session.

Ah, the freelance life. Sleeping until noon. Working in your pajamas. Picking and choosing just the right assignments that appeal to and massage your fragile ego…

NOT!

As anyone who has done it can attest, being a freelance journalist is hard. And complicated. And just like staff jobs, there are rules, protocols, and methodologies to follow. Continue reading

Search for fountain of youth drives testosterone replacement industry

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

Photo: Maxwell GS via Flickr

You know those ads on late-night radio or in the back of some magazines for testosterone replacement therapy? Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but for older men that’s no real path to a male fountain of youth.

Like it or not, low testosterone is a normal part of aging and “fixing” it can be risky. Despite some news reports on the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy, several recent studies show that the harms may outweigh benefits. Continue reading

Research: Finesse, transparency key when reporting foodborne illness outbreaks

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: NIH Image Gallery via FlickrSalmonella bacteria invade an immune cell.

A mainstay of health reporting is covering outbreaks of foodborne illness, whether it’s salmonella in peanut butter (and its criminal consequences) or listeria in cantaloupes or ice cream. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a robust site documenting food-borne illness outbreaks, by the time the CDC cites a case on its website, the outbreak often already been in the news since potential outbreaks are first investigated by local and state health departments.

How do these smaller agencies decide how and when to publicize details about a suspected or confirmed outbreak? Continue reading