Coventry University played host to the first prestigious European Conference on Health Journalism, where sixty journalists came from twelve different countries to discuss current issues that health journalism is facing.
Opening the conference to students and fellow journalists, Health in the Headlines offers visitors the chance to hear from specialists in the field of journalism. With prominent journalists discussing both national and international worries amongst the health journalism profession; the conference revealed both damning news for the future of health journalism and a promising plan of how to make health journalism a specialist topic again.
Doctor John Lister, founder of the conference, states that “The health care business is the biggest industry in the world with revenues of around $5 billion per annum. Yet what we are seeing is journalists without proper training in the subject reporting on political hot potatoes – such as NHS reform or new medical research – from a diet of press releases from the Department of Health or major pharmaceutical companies.”
Writes Sarah-Jayne Collins…
With many different colleagues under the same roof, debates were detailed, in depth and educational. With a worrying look at the ‘real truth’ behind the headlines revealed in the first day, journalists with a vast knowledge hosted workshops that were specialist for their areas in journalism, showing that we have a long way to go before health journalism is back to the selective journalism that it once was.
With friends, connections and sources made, the conference ended on a high note. International unities were made between different professionals and promises of collaboration were made. This conference will undoubtedly encourage a vital change to the way in which health journalism is reported, not only across the country but globally.