The world novel Coronavirus is new to the world, but health beat reporting is not. There are some professional journalists, who spent their whole life in health reporting and they are very much aware of what to do and what to not in this field. However, some journalist has started covering the COVID 19 news because it is the demand of the time. This type of journalist is prone to make some mistakes due to a lack of knowledge.
Here are the top tips compiled from various industry experts on health beat reporting:
1. Consolidate your Vocabulary
Words matter and in health reporting they make a huge difference. Thus, be really conscious about the usage of words in your reports. For example, some people call the COVID-19 epidemic and some call it the pandemic. Both terms represent different things and thus, using the term based on the context is mandatory. Thus, in health beat reporting, you must have the consolidated vocabulary to use it in the right place.
2. Health First
In the past few months, the importance of health beat reporting has increased more than ever before. Thus, more and more journalists have started joining this group. For responsible journalism, it is necessary to know and follow all safety steps and precautions while covering the COVID -19 related news. Some of the tips are:
Keep protective gloves and high-quality mask on all the time.
Do not eat before thoroughly washing hands.
Avoid visiting COVID-19 centers and wet markets.
Keep a safe distance with everyone.
3. Focus on Headlines
In health beat reporting or any other field of journalism, headlines play a crucial role in grabbing attention. Here are some tips from the experts to write the efficacious headline:
Avoid verbatim headlines
Avoid using adjectives such as fatal
Make unique, but comprehendible headlines
4. The Report Should be Unbiased and Fact-Based
Health reporting is very tricky as there are multiple sources of information and it is difficult to decide which source is reliable. Nobel Prize winner might not always be a reliable source of information in health beat reporting. To write an effective story on the COVID-19 coverage, keep the following tips in mind:
Check and validate the news sources. Only use information from trusted sources.
Do not indulge in the analysis. Stay concentrated on health beat reporting
Avoid coverage that attacks a specific group, race, caste, or nationality
Use diversified sources of information
Interview multiple people; from authority to the common man
5. Know your Responsibility
It is necessary for everyone to understand the real importance of health beat reporting. The whole focus of this sort of journalism is to keep people aware of the ongoing health issues such as COVID-19. You are not supposed to scare people; just keep them posted. Thus, use positive language, use numbers, and focus on making people aware of the happenings with your health beat reporting.
09 Jun 2020
Post by : NIMCJ