Between social distancing guidelines and the fact that a global pandemic truly does impact the entire world, webinars and online press briefings about COVID-19 and the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus are plentiful.
Many are incredibly helpful for veteran health/science reporters who are familiar with infectious disease reporting and for the many reporters who may not previously have reported on infectious disease or medical research and to bone up quickly. Continue reading
For some of AHCJ’s freelancers, payment issues were already a hassle before 2020. Now they may be even more difficult, depending on the publication or editor. In several writer groups online, fellow freelancers have cheered for a surge in work but also bemoaned payment hiccups. Individual situations vary, of course, but a few common threads have appeared.
To start, freelancers should know that nonpayment is unacceptable. If work has been completed, it’s illegal to withhold payment. The Freelancers Union and The Freelancer have written about this and offer options, and the Freelance Isn’t Free Act may be useful for those in New York City. Continue reading
The race to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is picking up speed with early promising results from initial studies, and President Trump predicting there will be “hundreds of millions of doses” of vaccine by the end of 2020.
Journalists have reported on these early results, as well as Trump’s comments, which may leave the public with a misunderstanding about the process of vaccine development. Continue reading
In reviewing an email of recently published articles at JAMA Surgery, I was pleased to see two pieces in particular. The first was a systematic review of quality-of-life outcomes in surgical versus non-surgical treatment for breast cancer. The other was a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial for appendicitis that looked at quality of life and patient satisfaction seven years after patients received either antibiotic therapy or an appendectomy.
I was glad to see these because the entire focus of both studies is on quality of life, an outcome neglected for far too long in medical research. More studies are focusing on quality of life, but still not enough. In fact, I would argue that every single study done on interventions for a medical issue should include at least some sort of secondary endpoint related to quality of life that is separate from cataloging adverse events. Continue reading
Candidacy statements for AHCJ’s annual board elections are now being accepted.
Each year, members in AHCJ’s professional category elect members for the association board of directors. (Associate and allied members cannot run for election or cast ballots.)
Six of the 12 director positions come up for election each year for two-year terms. Although incumbent board members are allowed to run for re-election, two have decided not to run again this year.
As misinformation about COVID-19 continues to proliferate in the digital world, journalists are challenged more than ever to debunk falsehoods and get accurate information to the public.
But how do journalists point out baseless information, without creating a “backfire effect” — essentially amplifying the falsehood or giving it legitimacy by writing about it? Continue reading