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Complete Health Reporting

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The question-mark headline is one way publications evoke claims that might not be supported by the evidence. Consider the alarmist reporting on studies that claimed post-tsunami nuclear fallout from Japan has sickened U.S. babies.

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All the ways that overactive bladder syndrome can ruin your life: a classic example of disease mongering.

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You don't want to be a disease mongerer, do you? Here's how to avoid it in your work.

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When is a medical study on its own not worth a story? A recent study on music therapy for anxiety offers some clues.

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Reporters sometimes treat medicine as if newer is always better. It's not. Here's how to accurately report on the potential harms of a new treatment.

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The most exciting exchange erupting on Twitter last week wasn’t about Kony 2012. Or Nandito Ako. It was about NNT — number needed to treat.

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Even under serious deadline pressure, you can build a solid health story without cribbing from a news release. Here’s my 55-minute solution.

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At their best, news releases are designed to distill complex science into understandable language the public (and media) can understand. At their worst, they are designed to sell a particular product. Here's how to use them as a jumping off point, not a crutch, for your health reporting.

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Never write a story about a health-related treatment without talking about costs. I wish health reporters would stitch that onto their pillows so they could see it every morning when they wake up.

Announcements

“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

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