Public health training for journalists

The JTP partnered with the Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical firm and AUB’s Faculty of Health Sciences to conduct training for 23 Lebanese journalists in October 2011.

Dr. Rana Barazi, a public health expert, explained how medical issues needed proper coverage to create awareness among citizens in Lebanon.

She briefed the reporters and editors on diseases and how to find reliable information related to them.

JTP director Magda Abu-Fadil handled two other sessions during the event attended by reporters from L’Orient-Le Jour, Tele-Liban, Cure & Care website, Al Ousbou Al Arabi magazine, Nisrina magazine, Laha magazine, Al Mustaqbal newspaper, Sayyodati magazine, MTV, Fairouz magazine, Sada Al Balad daily, Time Out Beirut magazine, Snob magazine, Future TV, Magazine magazine, the National News Agency, Assafir newspaper, Al Mughtarib magazine, Al Hasnaa magazine and Al Hayat newspaper.

Abu-Fadil’s first session zeroed in on ethics in covering health-related topics, with a focus on privacy, accuracy, fairness, balance and the importance of securing multiple sources for all stories. She also cautioned reporters not to confuse public relations and marketing gimmicks provided by pharmaceutical companies with serious reporting.

In a second session, Abu-Fadil touched on public policies in Lebanon as they relate to health issues, notably legislation and how it is formulated.

She also spoke of the role of civil society groups, lobbying efforts and advertisers, and how they all influence public health.

Last, but not least, Abu-Fadil share with the trainees a set of interviewing and reporting skills tailored for public health coverage.