Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.
Earlier this year, ProPublica revealed that Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., had filed thousands of lawsuits against patients, including its own employees.
In the latest dispatch about medical debt, ProPublica reports that “thousands of people are jailed each year for failing to appear in court for unpaid bills,” citing a court in Coffeyville, Kan., “where the judge has no law degree, debt collectors get a cut of the bail, and Americans are watching their lives — and liberty — disappear in the pursuit of medical debt collection.”
Cynthia Craft (@cynthiahcraft) is the director of engagement for AHCJ, joining the organization after an extensive career in daily journalism, including a decade on the health care beat. Craft most recently worked as a senior writer at The Sacramento Bee, having also worked for the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Times Herald and the California Journal.
Drawn by an influential lineup of speakers and panels – plus an intriguing offering of field trips – more than 800 conference-goers helped make AHCJ’s Health Journalism 2019 in Baltimore a record-setter in attendance.
In AHCJ’s 20 years of annual conferences, the increase in attendance has mirrored the public’s level of interest in health news and need for clear, accurate health care reporting. Today, health-care pocketbook issues, partisan politics and worrisome matters such as the re-emergence of measles and stubborn drug dependence epidemics are seen as topics likely to be front and center in upcoming elections.
From May 2 to May 5, health journalists attended more than 60 panels, including a carefully curated lineup guiding independent journalists toward success and informative sessions on how to cover aspects of the scientific revolution of genetics.
The Department of Health and Human Services is sponsoring a seminar for reporters on covering suicide on Tuesday, in what the lead organizer described as an effort by HHS media officials to engage with journalists in new ways.
Mark Weber, the deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, said that media officials often interact with reporters in what he called “ATM transactions” – communicating only when one needs something from the other. Continue reading →
AHCJ has strengthened its ethical standards on funding for the annual conference, enhancing the ethics code established at our inception 20 years ago to guard against undue influence by outside groups or the perception of such influence.
Photo: Susan HeaveyThe Texas Observer becomes the latest news outlet to tackle rural issues, including health care. Its new Rural Reporting Project will devote a full-time reporter and some freelancers to the subject.
One of the biggest challenges of covering rural America – including its health issues – is one that plagues journalism at large: cost and access.
One Texas media outlet is taking direct aim at the challenge with a new infusion of funding, according to Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan.
The Emerson Collective, a group founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has given the Texas Observer enough funding to boost its coverage of rural issues, including a full-time reporter supplemented by a network of freelancers, Sullivan wrote earlier this month. Continue reading →
Imagine you’re researching a story about a new medical device undergoing federal review. You send an email to a source seeking details. But unbeknownst to you, your email has been infected with malware. When your message is opened, the software secretly scours your source’s computer for insider information.
It’s a hypothetical situation – but not far-fetched, says Geoffrey King, a lawyer and lecturer who previously ran the Internet and technology policy program at the Committee to Protect Journalists. Continue reading →