Doctor calls for principles in health reporting

Nortin Hadler, M.D., in an opinion piece for ABC News, writes about his worries for health journalism. Hadler, who is on the advisory board for the health and medical journalism program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that health journalism is threatened more than other reporting specialties by the financial pressures the media industry is experiencing.

He points out that health reporting is a specialty in journalism and calls for appropriately trained, responsible health journalists. He points to AHCJ’s statement of principles and says living up to them is a “challenge that is met unevenly.”

Hadler expresses concern “about the decimation of the ranks of health journalists. I understand the appeal of ‘press releases’ and the greater appeal of such that accumulate on Web sites; convenience can unburden the journalists assigned to cover more than is possible and cost-effectiveness can unburden the publisher whose cash flow is so tenuous.”

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