About AHCJ: General News

Health reform debuts as 'Core Curriculum' topic for health journalists Date: 12/19/11


Contact: Len Bruzzese, AHCJ, 573-884-5606

The Association of Health Care Journalists has rolled out the first of its new Core Curriculum topics on its website. The topic – the implementation of health reform – is one of at least a dozen key subject areas the organization believes today’s health journalists will need to master to cover the beat well.

While the AHCJ website already provides some of the best education and training materials available on health care reporting, these core topic pages within the larger site will offer a more curated collection of materials and the practical daily guidance of a lead editor who specializes in the topic, said Len Bruzzese, executive director of AHCJ and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

Each specialty topic page will include glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, weekly blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. The topic home page will serve as a launch pad to more resources, both on the healthjournalism.org site and elsewhere.

Core Topic: Health ReformWashington, D.C.-based writer Joanne Kenen serves as AHCJ’s health reform topic leader. She produces reporting guides, seeks out reliable resources, assigns stories and blogs regularly. She works with Pia Christensen, AHCJ’s managing editor/online services, to find the latest material, edit contributions and make the site as easy to navigate as possible. The resources can be found at healthjournalism.org/reform.

“We see the Core Curriculum as central to enhancing – and potentially – refashioning the website and our members’ web research experience,” Christensen said.

The creation of the health reform pages was made possible by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The foundation agreed reporters could use more help in understanding health reform and its implementation. Although it provided funding, the foundation did not seek to influence any of the materials on the pages, Bruzzese said.

The next core topic to debut will focus on aging. Other topics on the horizon include oral health, medical studies, hospitals, social determinants and more.