THE STATE OF HEALTH JOURNALIST TRAINING AND EDUCATION: AN EXPLORATORY QUALITATIVE STUDY
Livengood, Jamie Marie
Garza, Mary A.
MetadataShow full item record
Health journalism critiques have often attributed shortcomings to inadequate training of health journalists, but few researchers have examined the educational opportunities available to health journalists. The purpose of this study was to explore how specialized education and training activities impart skills critical to performing health journalism. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with health journalists and health journalism educators. Interviewees identified skills critical to health journalism and described educational opportunities available to help specialists hone those skills. Educational opportunities vary in depth of coverage of science- and health-related subjects. Interviewees discussed the challenges of obtaining health journalism training and education weighed against benefits of such activities. Interviewee perceptions and experiences echo concepts from science journalism sociology literature, and align with theoretical media influence models. Findings indicate that opportunities exist to target public health messages through health journalists, and public health communicators may find partners for collaboration in health journalism educators.