Public health issues often only make the news when some dramatic event provides a clear narrative that journalists can use to craft a compelling story. I was in the middle of one of those stories this week when the Miami-Dade County Health Department told guests at the downtown Epic Hotel not to use the water there because it was the suspected source of Legionnaires’ Disease. After more than a week of lost revenue, the hotel’s now been cleared as the source of the deadly bacteria — but not before the incident provided some good lessons about the roles of government, professional reporters and citizen journalists in public health stories that tend to be much more important over the long term than during an initial safety scare.
Alright, wise crowd. I need you to show me what you’re made of.
I’m writing for college students a book about online journalism. The book connects the traditional elements and values of journalism with new ways of telling stories and engaging audiences. It will start with a discussion of online news values and elements and the unique characteristics of the online news audience. Then it’ll take readers through the gamut of digital media skills and tools, and wrap up with a section that talks about how to make sensible use of the tools to create journalism that’s more engaging and relevant.
But… what should I call it? Please vote below and then leave any comments here.