NIH Offers Health Reporting to Journos

The Office of Disease Prevention at the NIH will host its annual training opportunity to help journalists and editors better report on medical research. Participants learn how to interpret and evaluate research findings, how to select stories that hold meaning for the public, and how to place a science story in its appropriate context.

The next training takes place Oct. 14 to 17 at the Bolger Conference Center in Potomac, Md. The curriculum is described as an “intensive learning experience with hands-on application.” Faculty includes experts from the fields of medical research and health journalism.

Spaces for the course are limited and competitively awarded. Unfortunately this year’s application deadline has passed but health journalists should keep it in mind for next year. Priority is given to health journalists working in the mass media, including online media. Organizers say attendees should be eager to develop skills and knowledge necessary for good medical science reporting, but need not have extensive experience or background in medical journalism.

Previous participants rave about the course.

“Attending [the] Medicine in the Media course was the best thing I have done for my career.” – Sarah Baldauf, 2008, U.S. News & World Report

“I’m amazed at the ability of the course-givers to take very complex information and make it not only clear but interesting, so that you want to learn more about it and you want to take it back with you and put it to use. I think one of the major benefits of this course is what I’m going to be able to talk to my colleagues about and make them aware of. And I’ve got cards from 15 or 20 people I’ll be contacting in the future for leads to stories and to use as sources.” – Richard Kipling, 2011, Center for Health Reporting at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California