Health Journalists. Ethics & Truth. Don’t Shoot The Messenger.
In the U.S. there’s Health Journalism conference…. I think it ends today….
On health. For people. Presumably on the health of people. That intrigues me. These people write about health. YOU are the messenger.
One can only presume your job is to give absolutely and without question, balanced and truthful information to your readers about facts on whatever subject of health you’re writing on.
That’s pretty important. Someone looks to you for information. Pretty hefty responsibility if you ask me.
In my own “not so glamorous” day job, I service security systems. Pretty unimportant, until you consider ALL have life saving devices. Fire, Heat detection. Burglary. Medical pendants. Panic buttons. Holdup alarms. Other things integrated with the systems. Pretty important.
If I’m wrong, or make a poor decision or say, don’t do my job to the best of my ability, someone potentially could get hurt or die. I look at that as huge. I need to be right every time. No room for error or misleading calculations. I can’t just do “part of my job”. Lives are at stake.
I vape. I use an e-cig. I’m almost 2 years smoke-free. If you write about health, surely the idea of tobacco harm reduction has come across your keyboard at least once. Surely you’ve heard of vaping or at least an e-cigarette as a way to reduce or stop smoking.
Surely if you’re a “science/med “journo”, e-cigs have crossed your path. If not in the science side of your journalism with technology, certainly the subject has come up either with you or your readings along the lines of your health interests. Someone you know. No?
Good or bad, you’ve at least heard of e-cigs or vaping. Is that not a huge part of health? Smoking/quitting smoking? Ways… means… struggles…controversy in the e-cigarette world… ringing a bell? No? REALLY? Wow. If you’re a journalist and you haven’t heard of this by now, you need to read more than you write to inform your readers.
Get out more. Talk to your professional friends. Responsibly. Professionally. With truth. If you don’t LIKE the truth, at least LINK the truth. That would just be a courtesy to the reader you are trying to inform. *Wink*.
Here’s help towards the truth, it’s on almost every blog post I do: