Category Archives: Covering medical studies

Another chance to get the story on women’s pelvic exams right

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: Ann C. Ball via Flickr

Photo: Ann C. Ball via Flickr

When the U.S. Preventive Task Force Commission reported in late June that the evidence does not currently support routine pelvic exams during a woman’s OB-GYN visit, most media outlets covered it, as they should have.

But the quality of that coverage was spotty. Few stories captured the important nuances that distinguish pelvic exams from cervical cancer screenings and general wellness visits. Nor did many include the essential elements that women should know to understand the implications of the new recommendations.

Fortunately, the story isn’t over. What the commission issued were draft recommendations that won’t become official until after a public comment period that ended July 25. Continue reading

Tips to expand coverage of LGBT health beyond HIV and AIDS

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: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

For the past several decades, HIV and AIDS have dominated discussions and reporting about LGBT health. While HIV/AIDS continues to be relevant to this population, thorough coverage of health for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be much more comprehensive in examining other challenges they face.

Several takeaways from the Health Journalism 2016 session, “Beyond HIV/AIDS: Reporting on the LGBT Community,” can help reporters go beyond those issues to discover new stories and important trends. Two major themes emerged from the session that offer fertile ground for deeper reporting. Continue reading

How the media reports mass shootings may influence future ones

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.

AR-15

Photo: Ryan via Flickr

As the U.S. struggles to process and grieve yet another mass shooting — this one unique in targeting a minority group (the Latino community) of a minority group (the LGBTQ community) — the media is struggling to cover the massacre responsibly and sensitively without letting the coverage feel like a recycle of every previous shooting.

And there is at least one way they appear to be succeeding: giving less attention to the killer than to the victims. Though research is limited, studies have suggested that this approach is more responsible if one goal is not to inadvertently inspire future massacres. Continue reading

Firearm data resources for reporting on the Orlando mass shooting

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: Pia Christensen/AHCJU.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has launched a campaign to address the epidemic of opioid addiction.

Photo: Pia Christensen/AHCJU.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, M.D., spoke about gun violence as a public health issue at Health Journalism 2016. Click here to see his comments.

In light of the mass shooting in Orlando, many journalists covering the event will need access to statistics on firearms, legislation, past mass shootings and related information to add context to their posts. It’s often challenging to find this information, and all of the reported data has flaws in methodology or data collection.

Even though it can be tricky to find reliable stats related to firearms and firearm injuries and deaths, journalists can compile a pretty good big picture by visiting several sites and pooling their data. Here are some data resources compiled from AHCJ’s Medical Studies Core Topic. Continue reading

Localize the story of the latest superbug’s U.S. arrival – for a long time to come

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.

Image via CDC

Image via CDC

The latest news about the arrival in the U.S. of a deeply concerning “superbug” justifiably injected alarm into the headlines recently.

It was not actually a new bacteria that arrived but the “dreaded gene mcr-1,” a mutation which “confers protection against colistin, the last remaining antibiotic that works against a broad family of bacteria that have already acquired resistance to all the other antibiotics used against them,” as AHCJ board member Maryn McKenna described in her piece at her Germination blog at National Geographic. Continue reading