Tag Archives: story ideas

Rural Health Journalism Workshop great source for story ideas

Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2017

Rural Health Journalism Workshop 2017

After more than 15 years as a general interest writer, I decided to concentrate my reporting on health, with a focus on rural health. Why? Because reporters don’t just get wrong or misunderstand people who live outside cities; we often overlook important stories about them.

For starters, the face of rural and small town is not as monolithic as it’s commonly portrayed. I was born and raised in the Arkansas Delta. Racial and ethnic minorities now make up 19% of non-metro residents in the U.S.

That’s one of the reasons next week’s AHCJ Rural Health Journalism Workshop, a free three-day virtual conference, is such a great opportunity. Continue reading

And now for something completely different

Sonic the Hedgehog legos

Photo: BRICK 101 via Flickr

So much of the past 15 months has been nonstop reporting about COVID-19 for many health reporters. So once in a while, it’s nice to come across something … different. Very different.

Thanks to a recent thread by Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiologist based in Sydney, Australia (part of an excellent take-down of yet more pseudoscience from Naomi Wolf), I learned about a journal I was previously unaware of. Medical Hypotheses exists to “give novel, radical new ideas and speculations in medicine open-minded consideration, opening the field to radical hypotheses which would be rejected by most conventional journals.”

[Editor’s note: More details about the study mentioned in this thread, including its retraction, can be found here and here. The journal has a controversial past. For details, see thisthis and this. We have made some edits of this posting based on these controversies.]

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COVID-19 and older adults tip sheet offers story ideas, resources

Photo: Emil Kabanov via Flickr

There’s still a lot we don’t yet know about the novel coronavirus, but one thing is clear: older adults are among those at highest risk. A majority of deaths worldwide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, have occurred in the 60-plus population. U.S. health officials are advising anyone over 60, or those with serious chronic medical conditions, to stay home for the next month. Continue reading

Studies can inspire story ideas about unnecessary interventions

Photo: Tracy Ann C. Ball via Flickr

It’s well recognized that health care costs more in the United States than anywhere else in the world. There are myriad of complex reasons, but one aspect of health care costs that often gets lost in the conversation is how much Americans are paying for services they don’t need. Overuse of antibiotics is an often go-to example of this, but it happens with screening tests as well, especially when guidelines aren’t clear or are frequently evolving.

A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine highlighted an excellent example of patients receiving interventions they don’t need, cost money and can cause harm. Studies like these are worth reporting on their own, but also can inspire larger stories that go deeper or look more broadly at a particular field, geographic region or population of patients. (Disclosure: I reported on this particular study for a news publication.) Continue reading

Making a strong case for attending the upcoming AHCJ conference

Sammy Caiola, a health journalist in Sacramento, is nothing if not prepared. As far back as December, Caiola had delivered a memo to her editor, making the case to approve her attendance at Health Journalism 2018, AHCJ’s annual conference.

The Phoenix training event would be Caiola’s third AHCJ conference, and she figured her best argument was to outline exactly what she’d gotten out of the first two.

Editors can be funny people. Not in the comedic sense, but a bit persnickety. I know. I was an editor for half of my journalism career before joining AHCJ’s staff last fall.

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