Just as President Obama is promising major health reform, huge cutbacks in the news business are creating new challenges for health journalists who are trying to report on those policy issues, according to the survey and report written by Gary Schwitzer, associate professor in the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication.
The report was released by the Kaiser Family Foundation at a Washington, D.C. briefing.
A survey of members of the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ), conducted in partnership with AHCJ, and the report, The State of Health Journalism in the United States, written by Schwitzer, detail how the financial pressures on the media industry and the fierce competition to break news on new and expanding platforms on the Internet are affecting the quality of health reporting. The difficulties cited in the reports have caused many in the industry to worry about the loss of in-depth, detailed reporting and the influence of public relations and advertising that could color news content.
The turmoil in the news business is affecting all beats in journalism, not just health. Indeed, although AHCJ members report facing many difficulties in the current climate, they are more optimistic about the future of health journalism in particular than they are about journalism in general.
Key findings from the survey of AHCJ members include:
The full survey and report can be viewed online at http://kff.org/entmedia/mh031109pkg.cfm
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