Author Archives: Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle

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.

Major public health journal opens access to gun violence studies

If you’ve had trouble as a reporter getting access to major public health studies on gun violence, get ready to dive down a rabbit hole. The American Public Health Association just opened up to the public research related to firearms published in the American Journal of Public Health. Every article published in the journal about gun violence — studies, editorials, commentaries and essays — will soon be available. Continue reading

NIH to require more transparency for clinical trials

Photo: Iwan Gabovitch via Flickr

The ongoing push for open science and greater transparency in medical research just notched another win following new rules from the National Institutes of Health regarding federally funded research involving humans. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the NIH is broadening the definition of clinical trials for what must be registered and reported at

“Researchers must now report their findings on the site within a year of study completion or risk losing future funding,” wrote reporters Daniela Hernandez and Amy Dockser Marcus. Continue reading

Antibiotic resistance highlighted at World Conference of Science Journalists

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Alexander Fleming developed penicillin, the first antibiotic, in 1928. In less than a century, scientists have developed more than 130 other antibiotics — saving millions of lives, making surgery safer than ever, transforming medicine … and creating the huge new problem of antibiotic resistance that threatens to toss us back into the pre-antibiotic era.

Take gonorrhea for just one example: humans have gone from having no way to treat the disease in the 1920s to having effective antibiotics against it to now, when the “bacteria has developed resistance to nearly every drug used for treatment,” according to the CDC. Continue reading

Vox reporter describes deep dive into medical studies on back pain

Two years ago Vox began a new feature section called Show Me the Evidence. In each piece, the reporter reviews several dozen recent studies on a specific question with the goal of summarizing the consensus of the evidence on that issue.

It’s important to provide context in any article about a single study or even a couple studies, but it’s not possible in daily journalism or even shorter features to dig deeply into all (or most of) the evidence on a specific topic and look at the big picture. Continue reading

AHCJ compiles tip sheet for reporting on sexual assault and harassment

The most recent wave of reporting on sexual abuse and sexual harassment began with the report on Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse in Hollywood, but other accusations of sexual assault and harassment by prominent figures continue to dominate the headlines. As more survivors of sexual assault and harassment come forward, journalists face a dual challenge.

First, they need to corroborate and fact check their stories as they would any other story, a necessity driven home recently by the Washington Post’s report of an attempt to deceive the paper into reporting a false accusation against Roy Moore, a nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat. Continue reading