Tag Archives: email

Freelancers, be wary of assignment scams by email

About Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist (@cristcarolyn) helps AHCJ’s freelance members find the resources, tips and contacts they need to create and run a successful business. A freelance journalist and author, Crist covers health, medicine and science stories for national news outlets such as Reuters, Runner’s World and Parade. She also writes for trade and custom publications. Contact her at carolyn@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Trending Topics 2019 via Flickr

In recent weeks, many freelance writers have received the same email — a consultant says she needs help with a writing project for an upcoming workshop. She wants to create an article on a specific health topic that will be given to the workshop attendees as a handbook. She’s already drafted an outline, and she wants to know if you can help.

I received this email, as have several AHCJ members, and a few of us responded to this email. The request looks both legitimate but also suspicious based on the phrasing and vague details. If you respond, the consultant often replies with additional information, including the word count, a $1/word rate, and a deadline. Continue reading

Politifact, AP fact check health care claims

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.

Angie Drobnic Holan, writing on the St. Petersburg Times‘ Politifact site, has composed a point-by-point debunking of a lengthy anti-reform chain e-mail that’s been circulating in recent days. Among the e-mail’s claims about the bill: self-insuring employers will all be audited, health care will be rationed, the “Health Choices Commissioner” will make all decisions for you, leaving you with no input, illegal immigrants will get free health care, union retirees and community organizers will get subsidized health care and eligible folks will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid whether they like it or not.

Politifact also rates a few of the e-mail’s claims as “barely true” or “half true,” including the conversion of the general recommendations of the government’s health advisory committee to “a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get” and the repackaging of electronic medical records-related goals as “Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard.” Many of the assertions made in the e-mail were based on blogger and tweeter Peter Fleckenstien, who posted his rebuttal here.

In another Truth-o-meter post, Politifact reports that U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan (Mo.-D) misquoted the Congressional Budget Office about cost of health care reform plan during a recent town hall meeting.

Charles Babington of The Associated Press also is debunking confusing claims and distortions about the health care reform bill. Among the claims he focuses on:

  • House Republican Leader John Boehner’s claim that it will lead to government-encouraged euthanasia
  • Reform will lead to government-funded abortions.
  • Americans won’t have to change doctors or insurance companies.
  • Reform will lead to rationing, or the government determining which medical procedures a patient can have.
  • Overhauling health care will not expand the federal deficit over the long term.