Category Archives: Health journalism

AHCJ mourns journalist Dori J. Maynard

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves on the executive committee of the Council of National Journalism Organizations.

Dori Maynard

Dori J. Maynard

AHCJ laments the passing of Dori J. Maynard, longtime journalist and president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Maynard died Tuesday of lung cancer at 56. She and the organization named for her father pushed for diversity in journalism coverage and newsroom staffing.

A champion of journalism education, she led the Fault Lines project, which seeks to teach journalists to recognize and leverage diversity “across the ‘fault lines’ of race, class, gender, generation and geography.” She was a 1993 Nieman fellow, following in the footsteps of her father, who was a fellow in 1966.

As a reporter, she worked at The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and the Detroit Free Press.  Maynard attended AHCJ events as an AHCJ Ethnic Media Fellow, as an annual conference speaker and as a co-sponsor of a workshop on multicultural health. Her contributions will be missed.

Welcoming AHCJ’s newest members

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves on the executive committee of the Council of National Journalism Organizations.

Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Laine Bergeson, news producer, BringMeTheNews, Minneapolis (@lainebergeson)
  • Maggie Clark, business of health reporter, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Fla. (@maggieclark320)
  • Naomi Cohen, student, Columbia University, Los Altos, Calif.
  • Folasade Falebita, student, Columbia University, Jersey City, N.J. (@sadefalebita)
  • Michelle Faust, reporter/producer, WXXI Public Broadcasting, Rochester, N.Y. (@michereports)
  • Cynthia McKelvey, science journalist, Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, Berkeley, Calif. (@NotesofRanvier)
  • Roger Plothow, editor and publisher, Post Register, Idaho Falls, Idaho (@rdplothow)
  • Guimel Sibingo, student, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.
  • Nancy Stedman, deputy editor, health, More Magazine, New York

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

Journalists learn about emerging health technologies

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 social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

More than a dozen journalists gathered at the ECRI Institute’s Plymouth Meeting, Pa., research campus, for sessions focused on gadgets, the built environment and safety innovations on Jan. 29. Continue reading

President’s Corner: Ebola a great reminder that good information can counter hysteria

Karl Stark

About Karl Stark

Karl Stark, the assistant managing editor for health and science at The Philadelphia Inquirer, serves as president of the AHCJ board of directors.

From the Winter 2015 issue of HealthBeat.

Ebola coverage has fallen to a trickle, but the disease is still killing many people in West Africa. And today the concern is that the virus will become a permanent presence, burning on for years in rural areas. It also could flare up again in the United States and Europe, spreading cases across the globe.

Through it all, AHCJ’s healthjournalism.org, coordinated by managing editor Pia Christensen, has delivered tons of useful advice.

"Ebola virions" by See Source - Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa. PLoS Biol 3/11/2005: e403 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030403. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Ebola virions” by See Source – Charting the Path of the Deadly Ebola Virus in Central Africa. PLoS Biol 3/11/2005: e403 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030403. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Some of these by AHCJ graduate research assistant Kris Hickman are useful nuggets, such as the difference between “infectious” and “contagious” or how quarantine differed from isolation.

Other posts explained that Ebola is much harder to spread than the measles.

And Joseph Burns, AHCJ’s core topic leader on health insurance, wrote an insightful piece showing how Thomas Eric Duncan’s uninsured status may have contributed to his death in Dallas from Ebola.

Continue reading

Panels, key speakers announced for Health Journalism 2015

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 social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

California’s Silicon Valley – an intersection of health and technology – will be home to Health Journalism 2015, AHCJ’s annual conference scheduled for April 23-26.

Abraham Verghese

Abraham Verghese

Convening at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, hundreds of journalists will visit area sites during field trips, hear from world-class speakers during panels, take part in skill-building workshops and more.

The  conference will help reporters, editors and producers cover the latest in medical research, health technology, public health  issues, the business of health care, health policy matters and journalism. Freelance members can meet face-to-face with editors during the popular PitchFest.

Deane Marchbein

Deane Marchbein

Conference spotlight speakers will include Stanford University physician and author Abraham Verghese, M.D.,  M.A.C.P.; Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald; and Deane Marchbein, M.D., the president of the United States’ board of directors for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.

Verghese, a bestselling author and medical school professor, will be the  conference kickoff speaker on the evening of April 23 .

His work includes advocacy for the value of bedside skills and physical diagnosis, skills he sees as waning in an era of increasingly sophisticated medical technology, diverting  physicians’  attention from patients. At Stanford, he was instrumental in development of the “The Stanford 25” initiative, which is designed to showcase and teach 25 fundamental physical exam skills and their diagnostic benefits to interns. Continue reading

Welcome these new AHCJ members

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves on the executive committee of the Council of National Journalism Organizations.

Please welcome these new professional and student members to AHCJ. All new members are welcome to stop by this post’s comment section to introduce themselves.

  • Erika Check Hayden, senior reporter, Nature, San Francisco
  • Cathyrn Domrose, staff writer, Nurse.com, San Francisco
  • Sarah Jacoby, associate editor, health and sciences, Refinery29, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Sarah Peyton, student, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
  • Tina Rosenberg, co-writer, Fixes column, The New York Times, New York (@tirosenberg)
  • Julie Steenhuysen, correspondent, Reuters, Chicago

If you haven’t joined yet, see what member benefits you’re missing out on: Access to more than 50 journals and databases, tip sheets and articles from your colleagues on how they’ve reported stories, conferences, workshops, online training, reporting guides and more. Join AHCJ today to get a wealth of support and tools to help you.

Shared wisdom: Shooting video of older adults

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 social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Sue Scheible

Sue Scheible

Sometimes all we need is a quick suggestion from our peers to zero in on a good story. In the “Shared Wisdom” section of our core topic areas, we turn to front-line journalists for advice, some simple insight to add to our repository.

Today’s addition is from Sue Scheible of the Patriot Ledger in Massachusetts. Scheible (@sues_ledger) has been a staff reporter at the paper for 46 years and has a weekly column on aging. She offers some tips on filming video of older adults and why video can be so powerful. In one recent video that Scheible shot, an 85-year-old woman explained what she’s learned about talking to doctors.

See what wisdom Scheible offers fellow journalists.

#JeSuisCharlie

Len Bruzzese

About Len Bruzzese

Len Bruzzese is the executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism. He also is an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and serves on the executive committee of the Council of National Journalism Organizations.

I-Am-Charlie_FINAL-Graphic

 

AHCJ joins more than 40 other journalism groups representing tens of thousands of journalists in saying #JeSuisCharlie.

 

Powerful Alzheimer’s narrative nets radio documentary award

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, Practical Diabetology, Home Care Technology report and on HealthStyles Radio (WBAI-FM, NYC). She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, NYC, and a co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

When done well, there may be no better medium for storytelling than radio. When vivid narrative is paired powerful audio, “There’s something about sound that puts our imaginations to work, making us more active participants in the story we’re hearing,” as journalism professor Casey Frechette wrote recently.

A 25-minute radio documentary,  “Living well with dementia – a personal journey” from journalist Pieter Droppert provides a vivid example of radio’s power for storytelling. The piece won first prize for Best Radio Documentary in the 2014 UK Broadcast Journalism Training Council student journalism awards.

Alzheimer's Walk 2013, Atlanta, GA

Image by Susumu Komatsu via flickr.

We are introduced to Droppert’s mother, Audrey, whose disease has progressed to the stage where she no longer recognizes him. We also meet Tommy Dunne, who talks about life with early-onset dementia, and hear from experts who are working to increase awareness of this devastating disease and improve quality of life for those requiring nursing home care.

Continue reading

Contest entries provide insights, education into reporting

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 social media efforts of AHCJ and assists with the editing and production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

One of the most inspiring parts of my job comes every spring: That’s when I get to see the winning entries in the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

Often they are pieces I’ve seen over the previous year – many of which I’ve blogged or tweeted about or we’ve had the reporters write about their work for us. But there are always a few surprises that I had missed when they were published or aired.

Andrew Holtz, a health news veteran and longtime contest judge, has had the same experience. “Like most AHCJ members, I follow health news closely. Still, several of the entries surprised me. Not only were they delightful pieces of journalism, they revealed stories I hadn’t known,” Holtz said in an email. Continue reading