Kevin Ridder joins AHCJ as web editor at key time with launch of new site this year

Kevin Ridder

Kevin Ridder, a journalist, editor, content manager and environmental activist based in Chattanooga, Tenn., has joined AHCJ as its new web editor.

Ridder will help lead efforts to optimize and grow digital content and educational programming across all AHCJ platforms. He will also play a crucial role in the website redesign project. 

“I aim to ease the transition to AHCJ’s new website and help make it as user-friendly as possible,” Ridder said.

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Getting it right: Reporting on laws that prohibit gender- affirming care for minors 

Kellan Baker, executive director of Whitman-Walker Institute, (left); Emerald Habecker, an independent journalist (middle); Kim Walsh-Childers, panel moderator and professor of journalism at the University of Florida (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

As state legislatures continue to consider laws that would ban gender-affirming care options for transgender minors, journalists writing about them should stick to reporting about the science behind medical treatments, surgical procedures and other options, said panelists during the “Covering state bans on gender-affirming care for minors” session at Health Journalism 2023 in St. Louis.

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Why environmental health is public health

Photo via pexels

The impact of spills, runoff, emissions and soil contamination goes far beyond the environment and often affects the health of people who may live, work or travel in the vicinity.

Polluting activities that intersect with policy, science, accountability and access are a great nexus for reporting on environmental health, said Kris Husted, senior content editor of NPR’s Midwest Newsroom, who moderated the “Investigating local environmental health issues” session at Health Journalism 2023 in St. Louis.

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HJ23 draws large crowd to the Gateway to the West

The St. Louis Union Station Hotel light show plays during the HJ23 Thursday night reception. (Photo courtesy of Zachary Linhares)

More than 550 people gathered in St. Louis earlier this month for Health Journalism ’23, with at least 300 organizations represented.

As always, old friends and colleagues reconnected while new friendships and work relationships were formed, facilitated by the nearly 40 meetups created during the event and 3,000-plus messages sent to the community board in the conference app, Whova.

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Journalists need support and self-care when reporting on trauma 

AHCJ Board President Felice Freyer, addresses attendees during the “Journalists and trauma: A survivor’s guide” session at HJ23. (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

A global pandemic, never-ending mass shootings, heartbreaking patient stories, an opioid epidemic, legislation that endangers people’s lives … there’s no shortage of traumatic stories in the news every day, and the journalists who report it are affected by secondary trauma from that reporting.

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