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
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
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
As many hospitals have struggled with a deluge of COVID-19 patients, which at times has prompted patients with other severe conditions to avoid hospitals if they feel they can, there’s a fear that non-COVID deaths will increase during the pandemic. A recent paper in BMJ looks at what the data so far suggests while noting we don’t know enough yet to draw conclusions. Continue reading
Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada and North Dakota are the only four states in the U.S. that (as of May 13) have provided zero disaggregated data on the racial and ethnic impact of COVID-19 on its residents, even as there is a growing body of evidence nationwide demonstrating the pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on communities of color.
This lack of transparency in key parts of the country is among several under-covered stories for reporters to pursue in their communities, according to panelists who offered advice on covering disparities and COVID-19 at an AHCJ webcast on May 13. Continue reading
As many health care journalists have reported that they’re covering “all COVID, all the time” during the past two months, AHCJ freelancers offered their advice about the best ways to approach reporting and writing, as well as their own mental health while working on assignments.
Overall, the advice highlights many of the principles that reporters already hold dear — choose your sources carefully, review the science behind published studies, and find ways to carve out personal time from a 24/7 news cycle.
Related to news coverage at this moment, the freelancers also suggested doing background research with new webcasts and press briefings online, finding story ideas in new communications and newsletters created by trusted sources, and creating a routine to stay on top of the most recent research.