News

Swine Flu: Reporting the Story

April 27, 2009

Nieman Reports has published a comprehensive resource for journalists about coverage of a pandemic flu. The information comes from a conference held at the Nieman Foundation during the time when the concern about the potential of Avian Flu to evolve into a human flu epidemic was high.

Of particular interest is the experience of journalists at The Associated Press, Reuters and CNN; they pass along valuable information about how their newsrooms prepared to cover flu outbreaks and shared insights about their on-the-ground frontline coverage.

The entire issue: “A Flu Pandemic & the Role of Journalists”

  • In one of the articles, the AP’s Margie Mason, Reuter’s Maggie Fox and CNN’s Christy Feig deliver an honest account of their reporting from the frontlines of Flu and talk about what reporters need to be aware of as they go in.

  • In another, Dori Reissman, Commander, United States Public Health Service, and Sandro Galea, Director of the Global Health Center at the University of Michigan, provide an excellent summary of what we know about human responses to outbreaks.

  • In other articles, Michael Osterholm and Marc Lipsitch talk about what will happen if the current strain changes into a more deadly one and unleashes a pandemic; CDC’s Glen Nowak and WHO’s Dick Thompson talk about communicating news of an outbreak.

  • The Wash Post’s Alan Sipress; CP’s Helen Branswell, and infectious disease reporter Maryn McKenna deliver some excellent tips and questions for reporters covering the story — in small and big communities, in the U.S. or abroad.