Last night, a group of San Francisco Bay Area health journalists got some intriguing health reform story ideas from one of California’s better-known health policy experts, Marian Mulkey of the California HealthCare Foundation.
Ah, summertime. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and the mosquitoes are biting. Yep, it's time for the annual West Nile virus story! Here are some tips and resources for covering this important public health issue without sounding like a public service announcement.
From the annals of gross but important stories – now, with a summer news peg! – comes a new CDC MMWR report showing a striking 62 percent increase in the number of cryptosporidiosis cases from 2006 to 2008. Because cryptosporidiosis is a waterborne disease, this basically suggests that more kids are swimming in pools or playing in other water tainted with enough cryptosporidium protozoa (parasites) to make them sick.
It can be a slog, covering health reform’s intricacies day in and day out. Fortunately, four top health journalists gathered today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to brief reporters on how they continue to find new angles, stay ahead of the curve and – perhaps most importantly – keep their editors interested. The briefing was geared toward Beltway reporters, but there was plenty of advice for regional journalists on localizing the rollout of federal health reform legislation.
Here’s more from the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency:
The Community Health Data Initiative is a major new public-private effort that aims to help Americans understand health and health care performance in their communities – and to help spark and facilitate action to improve performance…
Whether you’re facing hourly, daily or monthly deadlines, it’s nice to get some inspiration from some excellent health journalists and the people who edit them.
For that inspiration, I turned off my laptop and opened an actual book: The New York Times Reader: Health and Medicine (CQ Press, 2010). This recently-published paperback, an annotated anthology of work by the New York Times’ health and medical writers, is aimed at journalism students, but professionals at all levels can learn from it too.
As an intriguing community forum on health literacy gets underway at USC today, check out these great resources for learning about the subject provided by one of the forum’s organizers, Ellen Iverson, an assistant pediatrics at the USC Keck School of Medicine and deputy director of the Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program at the Saban Research Institute at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.