Author Archives: Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel

About Barbara Mantel

Barbara Mantel (@BJMantel), an independent journalist, is AHCJ’s freelance community correspondent. Her work has appeared in CQ Researcher, Rural Health Quarterly, Undark, Healthline, and NPR, among others. She helps members find the resources they need to succeed as freelancers and welcomes your suggestions.

Panelists say the health care system needs to pay more attention to intimate partner violence

Joanne Kenen, a contributing writer to Politico Magazine and the Journalist-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Melissa Beal, a registered nurse and a survivor of intimate partner violence; Jacquelyn Campbell, a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing; Anita Ravi, a family medicine physician who specializes in the health of gender-based violence survivors, (Photo by Zachary Linhares)

Intimate partner violence is not simply a criminal justice issue. It’s also a public health problem. Speakers at the panel, “Domestic violence as a public health problem and social determinant of health,” discussed how the health care system in the United States could do a better job of helping survivors physically and emotionally.

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HJ23: PitchFest sign ups remain open, freelance panels to explore in St. Louis


Photo by Paola RodriguezJournalists share their pitches with editors during PitchFest.

Health Journalism 2023 is fast approaching. We look forward to seeing fellow freelancers at events like the in-person Lunch and Learn session and a longtime conference favorite, PitchFest.

To see what the editors are looking for in a pitch, check out AHCJ’s market guides. In addition, some PitchFest editors have submitted guides that can be found here in the Whova app that is being used for the conference.

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Freelancers: AHCJ’s 36 market guides can help you craft your pitches

Photo by George Milton via pexels.

It’s that time again when I provide a snapshot of the latest market guides that have been added to The Freelance Center. There are three new ones: Philadelphia magazine, Nature and Men’s Health.

Each guide always includes an interview with at least one editor and usually their direct emails, which can sometimes be challenging to find on a publication’s website. Even when the publication wants writers to submit pitches through a web-based form, I recommend sending the editor a heads up and quick introduction.

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Tips for finding great interview subjects on social media 

Photo by Pixabay

Editors often want people with lived experience in stories. The question is, where to find them? I spoke with four freelance reporters about their experience using social media to find “real” people to interview. You can find their advice in this tip sheet under the Pitching, Reporting & Writing tab on the Freelance Center. Here is a preview of what they had to say.

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When to quote survey results: How to judge quality and recognize red flags

Courtney Kennedy (Photo courtesy of the Pew Research Center)

Journalists often include survey results in a story to offer a sense of public opinion. But not all surveys are created equal, and some should be avoided at all costs. 

In a recent phone interview, Courtney Kennedy, vice president of survey research and innovation at the Pew Research Center, a “nonpartisan fact tank,” shared advice with me on how to judge survey quality. 

A longer version of our conversation, which was edited for length and clarity, can be found at The Freelance Center. 

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