Category Archives: Tools

Freelancers share best practices, top tools

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.

In April, several experienced independent journalists shared their advice for having a successful freelance career during a panel at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando. People in the audience chimed in with contributions.

“Panelists offered dozens of helpful tips and plenty of sound advice — including several ideas that were new to even the most experienced freelancers in the room,” wrote Liz Seegert, AHCJ’s core topic leader on aging and an independent journalist.

Seegert and Tara Haelle, AHCJ’s medical studies core topic leader, compiled an extensive tip sheet from the information shared at that panel especially for AHCJ’s freelance members. See the tip sheet.

Breaking up with EurekAlert!: Where to find other studies

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: Tim Malabuyo via Flickr

Photo: Tim Malabuyo via Flickr

In a previous blog post about EurekAlert!, I described some advantages to using the service less often than many reporters new to the health beat often do. But that post didn’t address how you can start leaving those EurekAlert! email updates unopened in your inbox.

Here are several tips to help you become less dependent on EurekAlert!. Tip: These alternatives can result in adding email alerts to your inbox each day, so it may be worth setting up a dedicated email address for all the lists you’re on. Continue reading

EurekAlert! is back, but do you really need it?

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.

When the EurekAlert! press release service was taken down on Sept. 13 after being hacked, there was a discussion about how much journalists rely on embargoes — and whether those standard practices should continue. A post at Embargo Watch succinctly summarized the pros and cons of abandoning the embargo system, leading to a robust dialogue in the comments section.

With EurekAlert! back up as of Oct. 3, it’s likely back to business as usual for those who relied on the service extensively. Continue reading

Get county-level data to report on competition in insurance marketplace

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.

downloading-and-uploading-data-iconAs large insurers, such as United Healthcare, Humana and Aetna, drop out of the Healthcare.gov marketplace, consumers are left with fewer and fewer choices, especially in certain geographic areas.

Sarah KliffSarah Frostenson and Soo Oh of Vox gathered the data to show us just how little competition there will be:

“There are currently 687 counties on the Healthcare.gov marketplace with just one insurer signed up to sell in 2017 — nearly four times the 182 counties that had one insurer this year.”

Continue reading

Tip sheet suggests self-guided tutorial on understanding medical research

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: ibbl via Flickr

Photo: ibbl via Flickr

If you’re relatively new to reporting on medical studies or looking for a refresher as you dive back in after a long hiatus, Sharon Begley’s blog piece earlier this year and this quick-and-dirty refresher at AHCJ’s Medical Studies core topic area are great places to start.

But as you spend more time reporting on research, you need to learn more of the nuts and bolts and drill down into specifics of study design, drug approval, and related topics.

You need a Medical Research 201 rather than a 101. This new tip sheet explains one way to conduct a self-guided tutorial if you already feel comfortable with the basics. See the tip sheet.