Why Supporting Evidence-based Journalism Is More Important Than Ever

July 11, 2019 Penny Smith

Journalists play a vital role in translating complex scientific research to ensure the public is aware of key developments and breakthroughs in the world of science and medicine that impact our lives. According to a recent report most Americans rely on general outlets for science news, but surprisingly only 57% of Americans believe reporters are doing a good job covering this important area.

This is why here at Wiley, as a publisher of some of the world’s most important scientific research, we’re partnering with influential global media organizations (the World Federation of Science Journalists, Association of Health Care Journalists and the UK Medical Journalists’ Association) to support journalists in their work, as well as evidence-based journalism. Wiley aims to strengthen journalists’ understanding of science by providing them with free access to peer-reviewed journal content and connecting them with expert researchers through Wiley’s Science Talks program, offering educational training webinars to help inform their reporting.

Patrick Strudwick, an LGBT editor at Buzzfeed and winner of this year’s Medical Journalists’ Association ‘Feature of the Year’ award, sponsored by Wiley, is a perfect example of how accurate and sensitive reporting can bring huge awareness of an important public health issue to millions, potentially impacting hundreds of lives.

His article ‘This is what it is like when your son dies from the Chemsex drug GHB’ was commended by the judges who commented “this article blended medical with the general, creating a story with enormous heart, a powerful study of the dangers of Chemsex.  It contained drama, family loss, and unflinching medical details. The perfect warning against GHB.”

On the impact of his article, Patrick said: “It’s been quite astonishing actually. It was published in July of last year. First of all the traffic to the story has been very high, several hundred thousand views. The response in terms of readers getting in contact, this was very high - lots of emails - lots of parents, lots of partners, lots of friends - so on that level it had quite a lot of response.  It’s also led to a whole range of other investigations…..looking also at how the authorities are tackling this, because there are mistakes being made, there are gaps in the data, there’s still a lack of public understanding of the issues, so there’s still much more to come on the subject.”

Read Patrick’s award-winning article here.

 

About the Author

Penny Smith

Publicity Manager, Wiley //

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