Today’s health care journalists work in a very different environment than those of yesterday. The demand for stories and broadcasts has grown exponentially, and the resources available have shrunk dramatically. While it may therefore be difficult to see how improvements in health care journalism are possible, let alone a way to improve health care literacy, there is an important connection that, if illuminated, could help both fields. To understand the literature on the quality of health care journalism, it is critical to understand the backgrounds of today’s health care journalists and the challenges they face. That literature also goes hand in hand with studies of the effects that news coverage has on the public’s understanding of health care issues. There are training and educational programs designed to help health care journalists do their jobs better, and this chapter concludes with a discussion of how cooperation between health journalists, physicians, and other stakeholders can lift all boats.
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