Whether the topic is suicide, cholera, SARS, liberation therapy or swine flu, it’s a struggle to cover health issues in the daily news. Reporters have to distinguish health data from market hype, and interpret scientific jargon. Ethical questions are raised at every turn. For example, should online reader comments be more closely moderated in health stories? Are we allowing pharmaceutical companies to influence our coverage?


At times, the media has been accused of sensationalism and distorted priorities. How prepared are you to responsibly cover the next big health story? J-Source's medical pathfinder and our Health and Sciences J-Topic are good tools to get started. There is also a new independent health information hub for journalists, launched in April. Here’s to healthy reporting!

Patricia W. Elliott is a magazine journalist and assistant professor at the School of Journalism, University of Regina. You can visit her at patriciaelliott.ca.