The leading professional organization of health care journalists has just released the latest in its series of “slim guides” – this one written by me with a great deal of help from Ivan Oransky.
“Covering Medical Research: A Guide For Reporting on Studies” is intended primarily for journalists who are new to the beat or for those who have not received training in reporting on the complexities and nuances of evidence-based health care reporting.
The AHCJ statement reads, in part:
“It offers advice on recognizing and reporting the problems, limitations and backstory of a study, as well as publication biases in medical journals and it includes 10 questions you should answer to produce a meaningful and appropriately skeptical report. We hope this guide, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will be a road map to help you do a better job of explaining research results for your audience.
Chapters deal with the hierarchy of evidence, putting types of research into context, scrutinizing the quality of evidence, phases of clinical trials, explaining risk, embargoes, pitfalls of news from scientific meetings, criteria for judging your story and more. The guide links to online resources throughout.”
More about this in days and weeks to come.
We hope it will be a good source that will help many journalists.