By now, just about every health reporter on the planet probably has written at least one story about the novel coronavirus or the disease it causes, COVID-19. With such a fast-moving story and an audience hungry for accurate information, there is a constant need for finding high-quality sources who can speak to precisely to your subject. Continue reading
The British Medical Association’s BMJ, one of the oldest and most respected family of medical journals, has launched a tool to better connect journalists with editors at The BMJ’s 70 or so journals.
The BMJ journals are peer reviewed, so there’s quality control and reliable standards at a time when non peer-reviewed and ethically questionable journals are popping up in our online searches. Continue reading
In late January, Kate Howard, managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, conducted one of the most important webinars for any journalist — green or seasoned — to watch: “Perfecting the 15-minute background check – for all sources.” How important is it? Well, she presents her tips every single year at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, teaching attendees how to “background like a boss,” and the room is packed every time. Continue reading
The first person that a health reporter nearly always reaches out to when writing about a medical study is the study’s corresponding author. That person – often but not always the lead author as well – is the officially designated contact person for the research. Reporters may ultimately end up interviewing a different author, or several of them, but the corresponding author holds a lot of power as the formally designated first contact.
It’s probably no surprise that (at least when it comes to phase 3 cancer trials) that the lead author is a man four times out of five. Continue reading
It’s an easy trap to fall into: call the hospital public relations department and ask to speak with an authority about your topic. Chances are good you will end up interviewing an older, typically white, male doctor.
And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, if you’re only talking to one group of experts, you’re missing out on vital sources which can add rich, diverse perspectives to your stories, according to the journalists who participated in the “Finding diverse sources for your story” panel at Health Journalism 2019. Besides, diversity is just good journalism. Continue reading