The wonderful new trend of ‘peer review’ threads on Twitter

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Twitter screenshotI’ve used Twitter since 2008, but never has it been more vital to my work and news diet than throughout 2020, and continuing into this year. The discussions by physicians, infectious disease experts and epidemiologists about SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19 and the pandemic, in general, has been invaluable for a journalist covering these topics. It’s hard to pick one favorite thing about the evolution of Twitter discourse since the pandemic has begun, but definitely high on the list is the trend of peer review threads on the site.

Peer review is the process by which journal papers are reviewed for quality, clarity, usefulness and robustness by other researchers in the field before publication. Preprints are papers that have not yet gone through peer review. But anyone who covers medical research knows that simply having been peer-reviewed is no guarantee that a paper really is high-quality or deserved to be published. (Spend some time at Retraction Watch for all the evidence you need.) Continue reading

Finding diverse sources for your COVID-19 reporting

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

Photo: Marco Verch via Flickr

Photo: Marco Verch via Flickr

News organizations continue to grapple with ways to include in their stories more COVID-19 experts from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Last year, AHCJ highlighted groups that have created databases in recent years to encourage reporters to extend their perspectives and typical networks. For specific COVID-19 experts, here are a few more places to look. Continue reading

Agriculture secretary will headline Rural Health Journalism Workshop 

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Tom Vilsack

Tom Vilsack

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be a featured speaker for AHCJ’s Rural Health Journalism Workshop June 21-23. Journalists attending the virtual event can submit questions during the live session or can click here to send in a question beforehand.

As head of the Department of Agriculture, Vilsack leads efforts to improve food and nutrition security, a constant concern in rural areas.

In a recent White House press conference, he linked food and nutrition security to a quarter of the country’s workforce impacted by the food and agriculture industry, educational achievement and poverty reduction. “And certainly,” he said, “we’ve seen the impact of that during the course of the pandemic.” Continue reading

AMIA conference offers glimpse into innovative clinical informatics 

About Karen Blum

Karen Blum is AHCJ’s topic editor on Health IT. An independent journalist in the Baltimore area, she has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition.

Doctor using computerJournalists looking to stay on top of what’s happening in health information technology or get ideas for health IT stories may want to check out the American Medical Informatics Association’s Virtual Clinical Informatics Conference May 18-20.

During the conference, physicians, nurses, physician assistants, technicians, HIT developers and others will share their recent technology innovations. Many presenters are from hospitals and health systems nationwide. Continue reading

New AHCJ core topic leader will provide help covering health IT

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Karen Blum

Karen Blum

Karen Blum is the new AHCJ core topic leader for health information technology. A health care and science journalist in the Baltimore area, she will write blog posts, tip sheets, articles and gather resources to help colleagues cover the changing world of heath IT. 

While she will officially begin that post on May 17, she’s already written an upcoming post about next week’s health IT conference. 

Blum has written health IT stories for publications such as Pharmacy Practice News, Clinical Oncology News, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, General Surgery News and Infectious Disease Special Edition. Continue reading