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Journalists prioritize reporting on important and serious issues over other considerations. They try to ensure accuracy, balance sensational headlines with sober, factual reporting, locate respected sources and remain ‘objective’ – aware of but not actively supporting any agenda. They often rely on specialist health reporters with sound technical knowledge and channels to sources.
How to Write a Health Story
Whether you’re a doctor filling out a blog on your website, or a supplement company writing an email newsletter, you’re probably well aware of the need for medically accurate content. But there’s also a lot of room for creativity in health-related articles as well, and you can find inspiration from unexpected places.
The best healthcare content often comes from patients themselves, and patient stories can be a powerful way to connect with readers. They add meaning to biomedical breakthroughs and give a human face to arguments for policy change. And they can help dispel the fear and doubt that surround some diseases or procedures.
When writing a patient story, be sure to capture the essence of the experience, from start to finish. The goal is to make the reader feel as if they’re listening to a personal, first-hand account from a friend or family member. Describe details such as the patient’s emotional response to treatment, their relationship with their doctor or how their condition affected their daily life.
To add even more depth to your health stories, consider adding a sense of place. For example, if the story is about a patient who underwent surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital, include a detail like how the doctors blew bubbles for their child to calm him before his procedure. These small touches can bring the story to life and allow readers to imagine themselves in the situation.
As you write, keep in mind that readers also want to hear the “how” and “why” of medical treatment. Demystifying the process helps reduce readers’ anxiety and allows them to better understand how they can improve their own health. When describing a surgery, for instance, explain why the procedure was necessary and what they can expect to happen during and after the operation.
When it comes to writing health articles, letting your emotions take over is not a good idea. While a healthy dose of empathy can be helpful in connecting with readers, you should never let your emotions overtake the subject matter. You should be able to distinguish between a well-intentioned desire to comfort the reader and a desire to skew the article toward a certain direction.
Finding a Personal Touch
Touch forges personal connections, decodes human emotion, and–from a healthcare perspective–promotes trust and healing. At Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, a Northwell Health affiliate, Russell helped institute two large-scale programs, Goodnight Rounds and Let’s Connect, to bring staff together over patients’ needs.
MDLinx aggregates medical news from around the world and delivers it to busy physicians, healthcare professionals, and a growing audience of educated consumers. It features daily breaking news and expert medical analysis.
Social media is one way that people share health news stories. However, many of these posts are not credible. People should check the source of information before deciding whether or not to read it. Fact-checking websites can help them determine if a story is reliable.
Another important tool for health writers is a medical news app. There are many apps available that curate quality health news articles from a variety of sources. For example, the NEJM this week app publishes the latest research from the New England Journal of Medicine. The app allows users to filter the source of news, allowing them to select only articles from a specific journal or even a specific area within the field of health.
Other news apps, such as Newsfusion, offer a subscription-based service that curates news from a wide range of sources. The app is updated regularly and offers a variety of filters, including a health category. It is important to keep up to date on the latest research, new medications, and industry updates when writing about health. These apps can save time by removing the need to search individual websites and journals. They can also help to limit the amount of information that a health writer absorbs in a day.
When writing about health news, it is important to stay relevant and accurate. The medical world is constantly changing and new advancements are happening on a daily basis. Staying informed about these changes can help you write informative articles for your website or newspaper that will attract your readership. It is also important to avoid outdated information and misinformation. You can use several different tools to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the medical world, including news websites and apps. You can also keep up with the latest health and medical news by reading reputable newspapers and magazines.
The findings of this study indicate that specialist health and medical reporters are better able to produce high quality news stories than non-specialist journalists. This was based on the fact that they had baseline levels of technical knowledge that enabled them to maximize the accuracy of their reporting and also that they could build up networks of expert sources with whom they had trusting relationships that allowed them to understand the complexities of medical and health issues. They were able to negotiate with producers and editors about the selection and angle of health stories and act as gatekeepers in terms of the types of stories that they would accept or reject.
In addition, the seniority of specialist health and medical reporters allowed them to exert influence over the decision to run a story, to choose which experts were interviewed and to provide a general framework for the way in which a story was presented. This was important because it facilitated the production of a balanced and informative report, in particular during times of public anxiety or crisis, when the public needs to have access to accurate and comprehensive information that is not overly alarmist or simplistic in tone.
When choosing a source of health information on the internet, be sure to check that the site is legitimate and unbiased. Many health and medical websites have a page dedicated to information about the person or organization that runs the site and its funding sources. This information should be clearly labelled and can help you determine whether the site is reliable and trustworthy. You should also be wary of sites that promise cures for various diseases and symptoms, as this may be a sign that the information they are presenting is not credible.