Posted by: Tony Carson | 27 August, 2007

Health reporting needs a whole new approach

How often do we read, as we have today, of possible medical breakthroughs, this one dealing with blood pressure, and get to the end of the article or story no smarter than we were at the beginning?

Sure, health reporting is highly technical and complex but that should be a challenge to journalists, not an excuse.

Health reporters must find a way to put these stories, like this BBC article entitled New blood pressure control found into words, ideas and narratives that the average person can, if not fully understand, at least follow in the context of a story.

What is the issue? What is the problem? What are current therapies,? What is new here? What is the future? When will it arrive. They need to find a useful formula for their reports that is portable to all reports.

In fact, health reporters should find a narrative style that will be sufficiently reader-friendly to encourage us to take on the challenge to understand these fascinating science/medical stories rather than just gloss over them with a ‘I’m glad those researches are finally doing something about this.’

There are health and health science stories printed almost every day, and praise be that there are. The next step is to make them understandable so that the public at large can somehow get involved.

The health industry should take a page from NASA’s play book.

The space industry knows it need taxpayers dollars to go anywhere so NASA does all it can to nurture its audience with information and explanation. The health industry should be doing this too, because much of their research money comes from the taxpayer … who should be more interested in investing in health research than in the next war.

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  1. […] <b>Health</b> reporting needs a whole new approach […]


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