Tag Archives: Tools

Freelancers share best practices, top tools

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

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.

In April, several experienced independent journalists shared their advice for having a successful freelance career during a panel at Health Journalism 2017 in Orlando. People in the audience chimed in with contributions.

“Panelists offered dozens of helpful tips and plenty of sound advice — including several ideas that were new to even the most experienced freelancers in the room,” wrote Liz Seegert, AHCJ’s core topic leader on aging and an independent journalist.

Seegert and Tara Haelle, AHCJ’s medical studies core topic leader, compiled an extensive tip sheet from the information shared at that panel especially for AHCJ’s freelance members. See the tip sheet.

Ideas worth stealing from Health Journalism 2013 #ahcj13

Brenda Goodman

About Brenda Goodman

Brenda Goodman (@GoodmanBrenda), an Atlanta-based freelancer, is AHCJ’s topic leader on medical studies, curating related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on medical study resources and tip sheets at brenda@healthjournalism.org.

Health Journalism 2013, Boston edition, is officially a wrap. I traveled home with tons of useful tricks and story ideas, and because it’s my job to help you do yours… you’re going to get to steal some of my best pickups right here, right now. Continue reading

Otto to lead AHCJ’s resources on oral health

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

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.

Journalist Mary Otto will be AHCJ’s oral health topic leader, helping members stay on top of the news as it relates to this important but sometimes overlooked aspect of health care through timely blog posts, fact sheets, tip sheets and articles.

Mary Otto

Mary Otto

Otto is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist who began writing about oral health at The Washington Post, where she worked for eight years covering social issues including health care and poverty.

In 2007, she wrote the story of 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, a Maryland child covered by Medicaid who died after bacteria from a dental infection spread to his brain. The death of the boy spurred congressional hearings, a revamping of Maryland’s Medicaid dental system and increased attention to oral health access for Medicaid children nationwide.

After leaving the Post in a newsroom downsizing, Otto spent an academic year as a 2009-10 Knight Science Journalism Fellow studying oral health and public health at Harvard University. Her ongoing exploration of barriers to dental care in poor communities has been assisted by a California Endowment Dennis A. Hunt Fund grant.

Otto has continued to write about oral health and other health and social issues as a freelance writer for the Post, a contributing writer for an online publication for oral health professionals called DrBicuspid.com, and as the editor of Street Sense, a newspaper produced and sold by homeless men and women in Washington, D.C.

The oral health topic pages will join AHCJ’s Core Topic pages on health reform and aging. The Core Topic pages are an effort to curate the organization’s resources, data and story ideas using “topic champions” – lead editors – to shape this material into practical guidance in covering stories on those topics. The oral health effort will be made possible thanks to support from the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Each specialty topic page includes glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, weekly blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. The topic home page will serve as a launch pad to more resources, on healthjournalism.org and elsewhere.

Core TopicsHealth ReformAgingOther Topics

Future Core Topic pages will include:

  • Hospitals
  • Health Professionals
  • Health Insurance
  • Health Information Technology
  • Medical Studies
  • … and several others.

Members are invited to contact Otto via email (mary@healthjournalism.org) with questions or suggestions about what to include on the core topic site.

Institute launches global health data clearinghouse

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.

Last month, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (about) launched the Global Health Data Exchange (or GHDx), a sort of clearinghouse for global public health data sets. At launch, the site boasted about 1,000 data sets and promised it will index and host “information about microdata, aggregated data, and research results with a focus on health-related and demographic datasets.”

dataThe data is accompanied by visualization and GIS tools. For updates on the site, add the GHDx blog to your RSS. And, if you’re looking for a more direct connection, you can plug right into the RSS of new databases.

At present, the data is global in nature, though there are still plenty of domestic and comparative sets that will be of use to just about any U.S. reporter. Many of them will be familiar to data-heads, but it’s still handy to have it all in one place. The site will point directly to data providers when possible, and will work to provide public data for direct download. Free site registration is required before downloading.

‘100 Resources’ list may spark story ideas, sources

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

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.

The Nursing Online Education Database has compiled a list of “100 Web Resources for Medical Professionals” that includes some interesting sites.

The list is divided into 12 categories: general research, dentistry, nursing, obstetrics & gynecology, oncology, pediatrics, psychiatry, dictionaries & journals, directories, job leads, social networking and blogs.

Some of the sites are old hat to health journalists, like the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control, but others, such as the blog “A Day In the Life of An Ambulance Driver,” might be new and could spark some story ideas or serve as fresh sources.

A recent post from the “Ambulance Driver” blog urged elderly people who have burglar bars and deadbolts to install a keyless lockbox and give the combination to local emergency responders. The post says that otherwise:

“…the police and the EMTs will stand on your stoop and watch you sprawled on the floor dying, powerless to help you until it’s too late.

Like tonight.”

How often does that happen and how do paramedics in your area deal with that situation?