Training: Online Training/Modules

Covering Hospitals


Covering Hospitals IllustrationCovering Hospitals will hone your critical-thinking skills and give you the beat-specific knowledge needed to cover the hospitals in your community.

This innovative simulation puts you in the shoes of a rookie health beat reporter. You'll investigate local hospitals on deadline, working with your editor to find the focus of your story and craft the lead. You'll tap into the same tools that you'll use on the job, and you'll have a virtual "mentor" to walk you through the maze of reports, statistics and sources. As the simulation progresses, you'll uncover additional sources, and the story you thought was unfolding might take unexpected turns.

The content for this course was developed by Charles Ornstein, who covered public health and health policy for the Los Angeles Times and is now a senior reporter with ProPublica, and Karl Stark, health and science editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Watch a brief preview of the module.

This module was developed in partnership with the Poynter Institute's News University through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Technical Requirements

For this course you will need to have at least version 7.0 of the Flash plugin installed. For the best experience, we suggest that:

  • PC users use Internet Explorer or Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox
  • Mac users use Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox or Safari
  • You set your monitor resolution to 1024 x 768 or higher
  • You use a high-speed connection

This course contains audio, so please adjust your sound settings before getting started.

How to get started

You will need to register with News U - a simple and free process - then enroll in the Covering Hospitals course.