Tag Archives: abc

ABC News launches global health project

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Tonight at 10 Eastern, ABC News anchor Dianne Sawyer will host “Be the Change: Save a Life,” a program which will profile “innovative” solutions to global health problems across Asia and Africa. To accompany what is planned to be a yearlong effort, ABC News is launching saveone.net, a site which will be updated throughout the year with information on health issues in developing nations. That reporting will be combined with the request implicit in the program’s “Be the Change” title and a site which blurs the lines between journalism and activism.

The heart of the network’s online call to action is a page referring readers to specific charity efforts and encouraging them to donate. All the project donations are hosted by GlobalGiving.org, an organization which says it pre-screens grassroots charity efforts.

(Hat tip to Media Bistro’s WebNewser)

Former CDC boss now ABC health/medical editor

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

Richard Besser, M.D., the acting director of the CDC during the first six months of 2009 (CDC bio), will become ABC’s senior health and medical editor, Shelia M. Poole reports in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Besser

Besser

Besser’s regular press conferences at the beginning of the H1N1 outbreak first put him in the national media spotlight, and now he’ll be leaving his post as head of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response to work on the media side full-time.

Besser, who did some TV health reporting in San Diego in the ’90s, has been praised for his media savvy but was passed over in favor of former New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Freiden when the long-term hire for the CDC’s top spot was announced in May.

At ABC, Besser plans to tackle issues like “obesity, health disparities and HIV” as well as coverage of this fall’s upcoming H1N1 season, Poole reports.

The perils of access: ABC defends coverage

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

barack-obamaRichard Huff of the New York Daily News reports that Republican Party officials (and Matt Drudge) have likened ABC’s planned health care reform coverage, set in the White House and featuring interviews with the President and First Lady and a presidential town hall meeting, to an “infomercial” on behalf of President Obama’s policies.

The Republicans’ objections point to an familiar dilemma: Is there a point at which taking advantage of the administration’s willingness to create media opportunities and provide public access a display of favoritism? Where is the line between government transparency and political gamesmanship? For their part, ABC representatives say the network, not the administration, will choose questions and topics and promises that a full range of views will be represented.

“In the end, no one watching, listening to, or reading ABC News will lack for an understanding of all sides of these important questions,” ABC News Senior Vice President Kerry Smith said in a letter to the RNC.

The audience and questions for the prime-time special will be selected by ABC and only ABC, according to a spokesman, and the goal is to have a balanced broadcast with various views.

The GOP moved to buy ads on ABC to respond to the special, but ABC refused the ads, saying it has a policy against accepting “advocacy advertising.”

The special from the White House is set to air at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, with additional coverage appearing on “Good Morning America,” “World News,” “Nightline,” and ABCNews.com’s “Top Line.”