The Next Big Health Crisis – and How to Cover It

In fall 2006, the Nieman Foundation hosted a conference to address the challenges journalists face when covering health crises of local, national or global proportions.

The conference brought journalists from print, broadcast and online media together with scientists, public health officials, medical experts, academic researchers, law enforcement officers, public policy experts, and Homeland Security officials to examine the threat of an influenza pandemic while sharing lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during the SARS outbreak and anthrax attacks.

Over the course of two days, nearly 100 participants joined in an unprecedented and frank discussion of the subject and each others’ roles in how — and how well — it will be reported.

Edited excerpts from the conference were published in the Spring 2007 issue of Nieman Reports. Thanks to the generous support of the Dart Foundation, these excerpts are also available as a special issue of Nieman Reports “Avian Flu, A Pandemic, & the Role of Journalists.”

Access the special issue online.