8 dos (and 8 don’ts) on reporting swine flu

The Swine Flu has still not made its way to India. So far. All the four people who were under observation are reported to have tested negative. But there is something about scary medical stories that draws the media like, well, flies to a wound, and it is more likely than not that more than a few editors and producers will be revving up to make the long weekend more exciting.

On the Canadian Journalism Project, veteran health reporter Maureen Taylor uses the opportunity to list a few dos and don’ts for reporters:

DO
*Hold goverment officials accountable for information they should have.
*Learn more about the influenza virus.
*Learn also about vaccines and anti-viral drugs.
*Know when to scale back coverage.

DON’T
*Press health officials to predict what’s going to happen.
*Report rumours from anyone, even health-care staff or patients in hospitals.
*Let editors and producers persuade you to twist the story.
*Wear a face mask unless you are in a room with a swine-flu-positive patient.

Read the full article: Vital homework

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