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Health Journalism Tools for Your iPhone

Health Journalism Tools for Your iPhone

Picture of Angilee Shah

If you have a smartphone, chances are you know what an invaluable tool it is for a journalist.

This week at Career GPS, we're highlighting iPhone applications that are useful for health journalists. The week's health media opportunities are at the end of this post. You can keep up with Career GPS via RSS.

There are some great lists out there for journalists looking for new mobile tools. I'm partial to a list on Quora by Robert Scoble and a "productive geek" list by Jason Hiner on TechRepublic. There is also a mountain of applications focused on consumer health. But I've chosen a few that are useful for people writing and reporting about health.


Works on iPhone and iPad

iHealthBeat, a site that highlights the role of technology in health, offers a convenient application that helps navigate the site, focusing on timely news and browsing by topic. It's a stripped down, mobile version of the site that gives you just what you need if you're reading leisurely on a bus or need a quick primer before interviewing someone. If you want the same service focusing on California health news, try the California Healthline application.



Works on iPhone with a separate application for iPad

The PLoS application is a great way to read and bookmark the indispensable content of the Public Library of Science. It's easy to use and does just what it should on a small screen.


$2.99 or free for the lite version
Works on iPhone and iPad

If you use PubMed, this app is a very useful search tool. You can download and save articles to read later, email them to yourself, or get PDF versions. Because the app has few bells and whistles, it is fast and easy to use. Upgrade to the paid version and you can get more than five search results at once.


Works on iPhone and iPod Touch

Medscape's mobile application is a must-have for many health care professionals. But it is also a useful tool for medical reporters. It installs reference materials about drugs, diseases and procedures to your phone, making it easy for you to look up terms in a pinch. The only downsides are that you'll need to sign up for a free account with Medscape to get full access to all the features of the application. Also, the application does not multitask: If you are reading about the contraindications of Avandamet and happen to get a phone call, you'll have to navigate back to that page when you return. If you just want information on drugs, try the Micromedex application instead.


Works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

For the more scholarly among us, the New England Journal of Medicine's mobile application provides a nice reading experience with audio and video content highlighted. One of my favorite things about the application is the ease with which you can change the font size and make reading easy on your eyes, even if it's tough on your brain.


What applications help you tell better health stories? Let us know in comments. Have an Android or Blackberry? Share those apps too -- I obviously have an iPhone bias.


Health Media Opportunities

New Job and Internship Listings

Associate Editor, Diabetes Forecast, American Diabetes Association
Location: Alexandria, VA
Status: Full Time
Medium: Magazine

Communications Editor, United Nurses Association of California
Location: San Dimas, CA
Status: 30-day contract
Medium: Communications

Development Writer, Health Sciences Public Relations and Marketing at the University of Southern California
Location: Alhambra, CA
Status: Full Time
Medium: Nonprofit, Communications

Editor, Natural Health Dossier (via JournalismJobs)
Location: Delray Beach, FL
Status: Full Time
Medium: Trade Publications, Online

Health Reporters, California Health Report (via JournalismJobs)
Location: Fresno and Merced, CA
Status: Freelance
Medium: Online

Healthcare Editor, Imagination (via JournalismJobs)
Location: Chicago, IL
Status: Full Time
Medium: Marketing

Healthcare, Financial Journalists, OneMedSentinel (via craigslist)
Location: New York, NY
Status: Freelance
Medium: Online

Media Officer and Science Writer, Society for Neuroscience
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Full Time
Medium: Communications

Military Medicine Reporter, Gannett Government Media (via JournalismJobs)
Location: Springfield, VA
Status: Full Time
Medium: Periodicals

Web Editor, The Advisory Board
Location: Washington, DC
Status: Full Time
Medium: Online, Newsletters

Fellowships, Internships and Grant Programs with Upcoming Deadlines

Online Community Building and Health Program, USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
Eligibility: California-based bloggers and founders/top editors of online news web sites
Included: 10 fellows will receive $2,000 to support the completion of an ambitious community health news or storytelling project, expenses-paid development seminars from April 28 - May 1, 2011 & June 23 - June 25, 2011, coaching and technical assistance with reporting project.
Deadline: Feb. 7, 2011
From the Website: "USC Annenberg's California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships is launching a new program in 2011 to educate bloggers and editors of online news sites on ways to chronicle the health of their communities. At the same time, the program will help participants improve the "health" and sustainability of their own websites, with strategic and technical advice provided through a partnership with the Renaissance Journalism Center at San Francisco State. This program is co-sponsored by theOnline News Association."

National Health Journalism Fellowship, USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
Eligibility: Open to professional journalists from print, broadcast, and online media, including freelancers. Applicants need not be full time health reporters, but they need to have a passion for health news (broadly defined).
Included: All-expenses paid six-day program in Los Angeles, $200 stipend and upon completion of what are expected to be ambitious, major fellowship projects.
Deadline: May 2, 2011
From the Website: "To stimulate collaboration between mainstream and ethnic media, we encourage applicants to propose a joint project for use by both media outlets. Up to two collaborators for each project may receive a stipend."

Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Grants, USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
Eligibility: Open to all journalist members of Center for Health Journalism Digital. Print, broadcast and new media journalists from anywhere in the United States are eligible to apply, as are all past fellows of the USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships.
Included: Provides funding for proposed stories or multimedia projects that illuminate or expose critical community health or community health policy issues and acceptance to the National Health Journalism Fellowship program.
Deadline: May 2, 2011
From the Website: "Proposals can focus on a specific health topic or delve into a confluence of circumstances and conditions that impact health, including environment; social class; crime and violence; urban development; access to health resources or the lack thereof; school absenteeism; transportation or city planning, and and disparities in health. Topics that would NOT be eligible would include clinical trials, medical research, or the latest treatments for a disease or any project involving a population outside of the United States."

California Health Journalism Fellowship, USC Annenberg California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships
Eligibility: Open to professional journalists from print, broadcast, and online media in California, including freelancers. Applicants need not be full time health reporters, but they need to have a passion for health news (broadly defined).
Included: All-expenses paid seminars in Los Angeles, mentoring for completion of reporting project
Deadline: Aug. 26, 2011
From the Website: "During the Fellowship sessions, Fellows get plenty of time to discuss with experts, and with each other, strategies for covering health news with authority and sophistication. Between the two sessions and for three months after the second session, Fellows confer by phone and e-mail with veteran journalists who guide them through work on major Fellowship projects."

Awards with Upcoming Deadlines

Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment
Eligibility: Eligible entries covering environment and/or natural resources topics and must have been published or broadcast in English in the United States or Canada between January 1 and December 31, 2010. The Grantham Prize is open to works of non-fiction produced in print, broadcast, online, or book formats.
Award: $75,000 for the top prize with up to three additional $5,000 Awards of Special Merit.
Deadline: Feb. 4, 2011 (book deadline has passed)
From the Website: "The purpose of the Prize is to encourage outstanding coverage of the environment, to recognize reporting that has the potential to bring about constructive change, and to broadly disseminate the Prize-winning story to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental and natural resource issues. Among the criteria jurors will consider are the significance of the subject matter, quality and originality of the journalism, the potential to effect constructive change, and the effort involved in telling the story.

The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize
Eligibility: This award is open to citizens of a Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic or those who have been ordinarily resident and working in a Commonwealth country or in the Irish Republic for a minimum of three years immediately prior to being proposed;
Award: The Prize consists of a silver gilt medal and a gift of £2500, which are presented by the President of the Royal Society on the occasion of the annual Michael Faraday Prize lecture (the recipient of the Prize is required to give an agreed lecture as part of the Society's annual programme of public events).
Deadline: Feb. 14, 2011
From the Website: "The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize is the United Kingdom's premier award for science communication and is awarded annually for excellence in communicating science to UK audiences. The award was established by Council in 1986 and is given annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary."

National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation Print Journalism Award and Television and Radio Journalism Award
Eligibility: Entries published in 2010
Award:$10,000 awards for general circulation publication, trade publication,and broadcast winners
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2011
From the Website: "Advances in health policy find their foundation in academic research and are achieved through public discourse facilitated by the media. To recognize the critical role both the research and journalism communities play in the health care system, each year NIHCM Foundation presents awards for outstanding work in health care research and journalism."

AHCJ-California Health Journalism Fellowships
Eligibility: Full-time California print, broadcast and online journalists and part-timers or freelancers who derive the majority of their income from journalism
Award:Financial assistance to attend Health Journalism 2011, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists Apr. 14-17 in Philadelphia
Deadline: Feb. 23, 2011
From the Website: "Fellowships are open to full-time California print, broadcast and online journalists and part-timers or freelancers who derive the majority of their income from journalism."

Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism
Eligibility: Open to journalists in all media working in the United States, Canada or Mexico who report on North American West environmental topics in 2010
Award: $5,000 prize is awarded at the annual Knight-Risser Prize Symposium at Stanford University
Deadline: Mar. 15, 2011 (book deadline has passed)
From the Website: "We want to reward and showcase reporting that best addresses important Western environmental issues - whether or not it was produced by journalists based in Western news organizations. Starting this year, we invite new players, from startups to nonprofits, students and citizen journalists to submit their finest work. Please refer to our standards for journalistic independence as explained below in the eligibility section."

Award for Excellence in Science and Medical Journalism, The Endocrine Society
Eligibility: English-language journalism related to endocrinology and published or broadcast between March 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011
Award: Award plaque and travel to the Society's annual meeting awards dinner in June 2011
Deadline: Apr. 1, 2011
From the Website: "The award recipient is selected by the Society's Advocacy and Public Outreach Core Committee (APOCC). The committee will give weight to entries that demonstrate thorough research, accurate reporting, originality and contribute to the public understanding of endocrinology."

Pfizer Award
Eligibility: This prize is awarded in recognition of an outstanding book dealing with the history of science. The book must be published in English during a period of three calendar years immediately preceding the year of competition (books eligible for 2006 were published in 2003, 2004, or 2005). Edited volumes, as well as works with more than 2 authors, are not eligible. A multi-volume work by one or two authors may be nominated only after the publication of all the volumes.
Award: The award consists of a medal and $2,500.
Deadline: Apr. 1, 2011
From the Website: "The prize committee may consider books where medicine or technology is a central theme. However, both the Society for the History of Technology and the American Association for the History of Medicine award their own prizes and while strict separation of fields is not always possible or desirable, the Pfizer Award should be given to a book that is principally a history of science."

Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment, Society of Environmental Journalism
Eligibility: Any journalism that is predominantly about an environmental subject and published or broadcast in 2010 with $30-$80 entry fee
Award: $500 first-place, $200 second-place and $100 third-place prizes may be awarded in all categories.
Deadline: Apr. 1, 2011
From the Website: "Honors outstanding environmental reporting. Award is given to encourage journalists to help educate the public and public officials on environmental issues. Results achieved by the reporting may be included."

Educational Opportunities

2011 Medicine in the Media Course, National Institutes of Health's Office of Medical Applications of Research
Eligibility: Priority will be given to credentialed, working health journalists in the mass media
Program: Course runs fromJuly 13-16, 2011 on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, accommodations and meals provided but participants will be responsible for covering travel costs
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2011
From the Website: "The course examines the challenges and opportunities inherent in the process of communicating the results of medical research to the public. Stressing an evidence-based approach and re-examining intuitive beliefs about medicine, the course will prepare participants for the crucial task of interpreting and evaluating research findings, selecting stories that hold meaningful messages for the public, and placing them in the appropriate context."

Masters in Specialized Journalism, USC Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication
Eligibility: Complete online application; separate requirements for each program
Program: Nine-month program with flexible schedule
Deadline: March 5, 2011
From the Website: "These highly customized degree programs are primarily designed for experienced journalists and gifted amateurs; the arts program welcomes practicing artists and recent graduates of arts academies and conservatories."


Picture of Vincent Lim

I didn't even know about the PubMed app. It appears to have been created by a developer that's not affiliated with the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, it seems like a very useful app -- judging from the reviews.

Picture of Angilee Shah

I did like the PubMed app quite a bit, and the five citations at a time in the free version were plenty for me.

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