The Real Story: How to Report Health Care Issues Accurately and Clearly

From 1999 to 2000, the Association of Health Care Journalists, Minneapolis, carried out strategic planning, membership recruitment, and conference planning.

The Association of Health Care Journalists was founded in 1997 to advance public understanding of health care issues by improving the quality, accuracy, and visibility of health care writing, reporting, and editing. The association now has nearly 500 members.

Key Results

  • The Association of Health Care Journalists carried out the following activities under the grant:

    • Developed and expanded a public website and a private E-mail listserv, which is currently being used by 95 percent of its membership.
    • Published three issues of a newsletter, HealthBeat (Fall 1999, Spring 2000, and Fall 2000), and distributed it to 2,500 journalists, academics, and journalism organizations throughout the country.
    • Conducted several mailings to about 2,500 journalists and journalism schools in order to recruit members.
    • Procured free subscriptions for association members to Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal on health care policy.
    • Cosponsored two events:
      • "Conversation Across the Fence: A Dialogue Between Journalists and the Medical Technology Leadership Forum," March 11, 1999, Minneapolis.

        This roundtable discussion with local journalists and representatives from the biotech industry was cosponsored by the Minnesota Journalism Center at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
      • "Covering Health Care for Older Americans: Understanding the Issues, Reaching Your Audience," March 12, 1999, Minneapolis. This meeting was cosponsored by the Minnesota Journalism Center and the Journalists Exchange on Aging, a network of 600 professional journalists who cover aging.
    • Worked with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on promoting the training of journalists in the use of AHRQ's database on clinical outcomes and guidelines. AHRQ, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers health care research and data to consumers, health providers, researchers, and policymakers.
    • Sponsored the "Association of Health Care Journalists 2000 Inaugural National Conference," May 4–6, 2000, Chicago. The meeting was attended by more than 150 journalists.