Among the biggest challenges for health and science writers over the past year is how best to respond to misinformation.
Siri Carpenter, co-founder of The Open Notebook, a science journalism non-profit, suggests focusing on the business side of misinformation and who’s profiting by pedaling false narratives to the public.
“I think it’s … important to recognize that we’re up against moneyed interests that are extremely invested in that this [false] information,” Carpenter said in a ‘How I Did It.’ “Misinformation isn’t out there by accident. It wasn’t just accidentally created, and then other people stumbled onto it.” Continue reading
Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2017
After more than 15 years as a general interest writer, I decided to concentrate my reporting on health, with a focus on rural health. Why? Because reporters don’t just get wrong or misunderstand people who live outside cities; we often overlook important stories about them.
For starters, the face of rural and small town is not as monolithic as it’s commonly portrayed. I was born and raised in the Arkansas Delta. Racial and ethnic minorities now make up 19% of non-metro residents in the U.S.
That’s one of the reasons next week’s AHCJ Rural Health Journalism Workshop, a free three-day virtual conference, is such a great opportunity. Continue reading
Those who have known me long enough have, at some point or another, heard one of my diatribes about poorly chosen vaccine photos in the media. These photos often feature screaming babies, wincing mothers, giant needles (usually medically inaccurate) and similarly negative images that can undermine public health. While it’s not a journalist’s job to promote public health per se, we certainly need to avoid undermining it. Continue reading
Ruling 7-2 on Thursday in a challenge that Texas and other states brought against the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court found the plaintiffs lacked the legal standing to bring the lawsuit.
“The decision preserves health insurance subsidies for more than 20 million Americans and protections for tens of millions more whose preexisting medical conditions could otherwise prevent them from obtaining coverage,” as David G. Savage explained in an article for The Los Angeles Times. Continue reading
The mild winter in the U.S. suggests that it will be a busy year for ticks — just as more Americans are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disease ecologists told Grist magazine that there is an uptick in people reporting ticks on their pets and themselves throughout the country, raising the risk there will be an increase in Lyme disease and other tick-borne related illnesses in 2021.
“All these people complaining of a horrendous year” with ticks, Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., told Grist. “They’re actually right.” Continue reading