Medical Journalism: How to Pitch and Promote Public Health Messages

June 4-8, 2018

This one-week course will introduce participants to key principles in health and medical journalism with the aim of both fostering a better understanding of the processes that underlie the decisions made by news entities and helping participants develop strategies to utilize the broad reach of the news media to communicate important health and public health messages.

Learn from Tufts faculty and distinguished guest speakers how to:

  • Develop a toolbox of journalistic storytelling skills. Identify and refine compelling angles within larger public health issues.
  • Recognize what is likely to generate news coverage and develop strategies to take advantage news.
  • Execute appealing, high-impact health and medical pitches designed to appeal to journalists.
  • Communicate effectively with reporters, producers, and editors, while avoiding the many pitfalls common to health story pitching.
  • Understand how news organizations use social media to both gather and report health information, and use this knowledge to craft social media campaigns aimed at influencing the news cycle.

Class size is limited to twenty students. This course will be of particular interest to public health professionals who interact frequently with news organizations, and to physicians, public relations professionals, and anyone else interested in developing the skills necessary to work with the news media to broadcast positive public health messages. The remainder of the class is made up of graduate students from Tufts University School of Medicine who will do pre-work and a final paper for course credit.

The class takes place on Tufts University's Health Sciences Campus in downtown Boston and meets from 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday. Meals and snacks are provided.

Course will be taught by Dan Childs, MA, Managing Editor of the ABC News Medical Unit, and Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM. For questions about the course, contact Dan Childs at dan.childs@abc.com.