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Health Journalism 2011: Especially for freelancers

Health Journalism 2011
Conference Home
Freelance PitchFest
Registration
Tentative program
Conference Hotel
Get a mentor
Fellowships
Field Trips
2011 Exhibitors
Getting there
Share a room or ride

Although all our sessions are helpful to covering various health topics and in generating great story ideas, freelance journalists will want to pay special attention to these events:

THURSDAY

Field trips

There are a limited number of seats on field trip buses to Philadelphia-area sites. The field trips could generate story ideas for sale elsewhere.

Workshops

For those skipping the field trips, we have three consecutive workshops focused on using data, reporting more accurately on medical research and on how to add multimedia elements to your story or project – especially if you don't have coworkers who handle such things.

FRIDAY

What editors wish reporters knew

It's the goal of every writer who works outside a news organization: Having an editor seek you out. What are the behaviors and best practices that make editors want to work with certain writers? This panel of three distinguished editors – one each from a national magazine, a major website and a leading publishing house – explain what you should know before approaching them.

Freelance PitchFest

Freelancers will have the chance to sign up for short meetings with editors from magazines, newspapers and websites, as well as book agents. Get a better understanding of those outlets' needs. Discuss story ideas you have. Put your résumé and clips into the hands of people who can hire you. Participating editors and agents include:

  • David Corcoran, assistant science editor, The New York Times
  • Linda Dahlstrom, senior health editor, msnbc.com
  • Daniel DeNoon, senior medical writer, WebMD Online
  • Deborah Flapan, director, Medscape Medical News, Medscape from WebMD
  • Nicole Nader Gabor, senior editor, KidsHealth.org
  • Peggy Girshman, editor, Kaiser Health News
  • Christine Gorman, articles director, Scientific American
  • Kathy LaTour, editor at large, CURE Magazine
  • Brendan Maher, features editor, Nature
  • Anna Maltby, associate editor, health, Self
  • Amanda Moon, senior editor, Scientific American Books, FSG
  • Peter Moore, editor, Men's Health Magazine
  • Marcy O'Koon Moss, editor in chief, Arthritis Today
  • Ivan Oransky, M.D., executive editor, Reuters Health
  • Luba Ostashevsky, editor, Macmillan Science
  • Colleen Paretty, executive editor, WebMD
  • Susan Raihofer, literary agent, David Black Literary Agency
  • Chris Seper, president and co-founder, MedCity Media

PitchFest appointments: The PitchFest is by appointment only. You will have the chance, beginning Monday, April 4, to sign up for appointments online but you must be registered for the conference before making your appointments so be sure to register today.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall serves as our networking center on Friday and Saturday, with informational booths offering story ideas and easy access to story resources. And don't forget the prize drawings for some great reporter tools, such as an Amazon Kindle, a Sony digital audio recorder and a Flip HD video camera.

SATURDAY

Freelancer drop-in: Running your business.

Interested freelancers are invited to a breakfast buffet and an informal networking session focused on business issues faced by independent journalists.

Libel, contracts and reporter protections

The rap of a process server on Amy Wallace's front door signaled the beginning of every journalist's nightmare. Wallace was being sued by an individual mentioned in her Oct. 19, 2009, article in Wired: "An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endanger Us All." Wallace will be joined by media lawyer Gayle Sproul to discuss the process, experience and politics of being sued and how journalists – both freelance and staff – can protect themselves.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall serves as our networking center on Friday and Saturday, with informational booths offering story ideas and easy access to story resources. And don't forget the prize drawings for some great reporter tools, such as an Amazon Kindle, a Sony digital audio recorder and a Flip HD video camera.

SUNDAY

Spotting under-tapped markets

Steady work, steady money, long lead-time, responsive editors, assigned stories. Sound like freelance heaven? Well, look no further than trades, nonprofits and medical journals. Writing for these publications provides a good income and a variety of work with fewer edits and headaches. They can also provide an outlet for many of your pet stories, such as policy work, that consumer magazines may not publish. Our panelists will tell you how to find these publications and discuss the advantages and the downsides of such work.

Best practices in blogging and social media

Blogging is dead: Long live blogging! After all these years, some still carp that blogging and journalism don't mix. Others claim it doesn't matter anyway because blogging is dying, as Facebook and Twitter claim more of people's time online. Poppycock! Blogging is alive and well, as some leading practitioners of the blogging art will show. Learn how to blog better and use social media to spread the word about your work.