Recently I wrote about the need to check citations when covering a study that triggers mental alarm bells, such as a statistic that strains belief. That post focused on a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine that frequently had been cited as evidence that opioids aren’t very addictive.
A few weeks later, a similar issue undermined the credibility of dozens (or more) publications on a far more divisive topic — gun violence.
Photo: Deborah CroweDr. Georges Benjamin gestures during a roundtable with Rachel Davis and Gary Slutkin, moderated by Andrea McDaniels.
What happens if we stop treating violence as a problem of crime and morality – and start treating it as a public health problem? A contagious public health problem?
That was the provocative starting point of the Health Journalism 2017 kickoff roundtable: Violence as a public health emergency.
Gary Slutkin, chief executive officer of Cure Violence, set the scene for us. We know the victim of a shooting has a health problem – the gunshot injury. But what about the shooter? Does he or she have a health problem too? Perhaps an untreated health problem arising from exposure to violence? Continue reading
Photo: Amanda Mills/U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
This holiday season, Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post turned away from politics to acknowledge some important recent health gains. Among them: declining poverty and violence, increasing reading among youth and life expectancy.
Rubin, a columnist who writes the conservative Post blog “Right Turn,” said those gains – all linked in some way to health – deserve to be celebrated. Continue reading
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
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