On this episode, we’re joined by journalists Tara Haelle and Bara Vaida to talk about the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) and health journalism in the age of Covid-19. They explained what the organization does, why it is invaluable to health care journalists as an informational and networking resource, as well as their role as topic leaders in medical studies and infectious disease, respectively.
Tara talked about the importance of media understanding the different stages of vaccine development. Bara talked about writing about pandemic preparedness and why it’s important for reporters to understand the connection of politics and health care.
They explained the challenges that occur when some political reporters enter the health journalism landscape – understanding that evidence trumps “both sides” reporting. They talked about the value of Twitter in helping them find public health experts and lessons learned that could be applied to reporting on future health care issues (such as health care disparities, listening to the right experts for the right questions, and building public health literacy).
We ended the discussion by talking about their journalistic passions, what advice they would have for future journalists, and what journalism organizations they would like to salute.