Course SyllabusEvidence-based Journalism for Health

Home page





Required readings
    Optional readings
      Peer Activities
        QuizzesAssignments
          DiscussionsQuestionnare

          Evidence-Based Journalism for Health Homepage


          This course is a comprehensive introduction to concepts and tools for Evidence-Based Journalism for Health.  It aims to develop and enhance the capacity of journalists and health communicators in producing and reporting accurate and timely information, in a language and format that people understand, with a solutions-based approach to journalism, to enable populations to make health-promoting decisions and to adopt positive behaviors that contribute to achieving public health goals, while combating misinformation, fear, and stigma. The course offers tools for communicators and journalists, particularly those covering or interested in health and science, to communicate evidence-based, clear, accurate, and timely content through news, human interest stories, editorials, interviews, reports, press releases, chronicles, and other formats, in multiple media while keeping a sense of ethics and values on their work.

          The Evidence-Based Journalism for Health course is sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).  Like all NextGenU.org courses, it is competency-based; competencies were developed in collaboration with subject matter experts in journalism, climate change, mental health, substance abuse, and taking into consideration the following competencies set and programs "UNESCO Series on Journalism Education Model Curricula for Journalism Education", “Tartu Declaration of the European Journalism Training Association”, “Health and Medical Journalism; University of Georgia”, “Health Communication, BA/BS Grand Valley State University”, “Health Communication and Precision Journalism; Instituto de Humanidades y Ciencias de la Salud Gregorio Marañón”, “Medical Journalism Elective NYU Langone Health”, and  “Medical Journalism; Shiraz University of Medical Sciences”, 

          The course uses learning resources from accredited, world-class organizations such as WHO/PAHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the World Health Organization. The course was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) working alongside Lothar M. Mikulla (Corporate Communications Officer, President’s Office) and Kemberley Gittens (Operations Officer (Social Analyst) at the Caribbean Development Bank). The course was developed in collaboration with PAHO. The PAHO team includes Dr. Luis Alfonzo B, (Substance Abuse Advisor), Dr. Claudina Cayetano (Mental Health Regional Advisor (NMH/MH)), Dr. Elisa Prieto Lara (Caribbean Subregional NCD and Mental Health Advisor), Lisa Bayley (International PAHO Consultant), Dr. Jonathan Drewry (Climate Change and Health Advisor), Dr. Benjamin Puertas (Sub-, Human Resources Regional Advisor at Pan American Health Organization) and Sebastian Oliel (WHO/PAHO Media and Communication Specialist). The course was designed by Hugo Rojas, MD, MSc; Jamila Conliffe, MPH; and Pablo Baldiviezo, MD.

          For publications on NextGenU.org’s courses’ efficacy, see “A Novel Integration of Online and Flipped Classroom Instructional Models in Public Health Higher Education,” (2014), BMC Medical Education, “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis, or on NextGenU.org’s publication page.

                                                                     

          There are 4 modules to complete, which include:

          1. Module 1: Introduction to Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and Solutions Journalism;

          2. Module 2: Countering Misinformation and Stigma through the Media;

          3. Module 3: Reporting Specific Health Topics;

          4. Module 4: Self-care for journalists; 

          The completion time for this course is estimated at 20 hours, 10.6 hours of didactics and curated resources, and 9.4 hours of work participating in activities and quizzes to assist the student in the synthesis of the materials. 

          Upon completion of the training (4 modules), participants will need to complete a “final exam”. The final exam will be designed so that participants can have multiple opportunities to answer correctly until the required score of 80% or higher is obtained.

          The course requires the completion of all case studies. At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz of ten (10) multiple-choice questions. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and learning activity, you’ll have access to a final exam of fifty (50) multiple-choice questions, and a chance to evaluate this course. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from NextGenU.org and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. 

          Engaging with this Course:

          You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements. To register for this course, it is required that learners have obtained a college-level/bachelor's degree.  

          To obtain a certificate, a learner must successfully complete:

          • all the reading requirements,
          • all quizzes and pass with an 80% with unlimited attempts,
          • all case studies,
          • activity simulation,
          • the final exam with a minimum of 80% and a maximum of 3 attempts, and
          • the self and course evaluation forms.


          NextGenU.org is happy to provide your institution with

          • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
          • your grade on the final exam;
          • your work products (e.g. case study activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
          • your evaluations -- course, and self-assessments;
          • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed.


          To obtain a degree, NextGenU.org co-sponsors degree programs with institutional partners. To obtain a full degree co-sponsored with NextGenU.org, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a NextGenU.org institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with NextGenU.org contact us.

          We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

          Here are the next steps to take the course for credit:

          • Complete the registration form.
          • Take the pre-test.
          • Begin the course with Module 1. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.

          Required readings
            Optional readings
              Peer Activities
                Quizzes
                  Assignments
                    Discussions
                      Questionnare

                        Module 1: Introduction to Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and solutions journalism

                        Instructional Goals covered in this module:
                        • Evaluate the effects of solution journalism on individuals' and authorities' response to health-related issues.
                        • Gain understanding about how to transmit an accessible, actionable, credible, relevant, timely, and understandable health-related message that can influence populations to adopt healthy behaviors.
                        • Understand how inclusive and participatory Risk Communication and Community Engagement Plans can safeguard populations health.

                        Required readingsOptional readings
                          Peer Activities
                            Quizzes
                              Assignments
                                Discussions
                                  Questionnare

                                    Module 1: Lesson 1: Solutions Approach for Health Journalism

                                    Learning Objective:
                                    • Understand the concept of solution journalism.
                                    • Understand the main strengths and criticisms of solutions journalism.
                                    • Evaluate the impact of solutions journalism on populations and authorities' as they respond to human rights and health-related issues.
                                    Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 10 minutes.

                                    Click here to start this lesson

                                    Required readingsOptional readings
                                      Peer Activities
                                        Quizzes
                                          Assignments
                                            Discussions
                                              Questionnare

                                                Module 1: Lesson 2: Journalism and Behaviour Change

                                                Learning objectives:
                                                • Understand the concepts of Behavioral journalism, and Social and Behavior Change Communications.
                                                • Understand best practices to transmit accessible, actionable, credible, relevant, timely, and understandable messages at different communication levels.
                                                • Understand how to use communications to influence populations' behaviors.
                                                Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 24 minutes.

                                                Click here to start this lesson

                                                Required readingsOptional readings
                                                  Peer Activities
                                                    Quizzes
                                                      Assignments
                                                        Discussions
                                                          Questionnare

                                                            Module 1: Lesson 3: Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE)

                                                            Learning Objectives:
                                                            • Understand the definition and goals of Risk Communication and Community Engagement(RCCE).
                                                            • Understand the mechanisms by which Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Plans safeguard populations health.
                                                            Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute):  4 Hours and 9 minutes.

                                                            Click here to start this lesson

                                                            Required readingsOptional readings
                                                              Peer Activities
                                                                QuizzesAssignments
                                                                  Discussions
                                                                    Questionnare

                                                                      Module 2: Countering Misinformation and Stigma through the Media

                                                                      Instructional Goals covered in this module:
                                                                      • Understand how to evaluate health-related information and terminologies from scientific journals, academic conferences, private industries, and governmental sources.
                                                                      • Examine the media's positive or negative impact on topics such as misinformation, fear, and stigma related to health issues in their region.


                                                                      Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                        Peer Activities
                                                                          Quizzes
                                                                            Assignments
                                                                              Discussions
                                                                                Questionnare

                                                                                  Module 2: Lesson 1: How to evaluate health-related information

                                                                                  Learning Objectives:
                                                                                  • Understand the essential elements to be appraised when reviewing a health-related academic article.
                                                                                  • Understand special considerations that must be taken into account to interpret information from governments or private industries.
                                                                                  • Understand the importance of Fact-checking along with best practices, tools, and guides currently available for journalists and communicators.
                                                                                  Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 24 minutes.

                                                                                  Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                  Required readingsOptional readingsPeer Activities
                                                                                    Quizzes
                                                                                      Assignments
                                                                                        Discussions
                                                                                          Questionnare

                                                                                            Module 2: Lesson 2: How to avoid generating misinformation and misplaced fear.

                                                                                            Learning objectives:
                                                                                            • Understand recent evidence about "misinformation susceptibility" and manipulation.
                                                                                            • Understand how misinformation and fear relate to gender and inclusion issues.
                                                                                            • Evaluate the role of the media to promote or reduce fear and misinformation.
                                                                                            Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 28 minutes.

                                                                                            Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                            Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                              Peer Activities
                                                                                                Quizzes
                                                                                                  Assignments
                                                                                                    Discussions
                                                                                                      Questionnare

                                                                                                        Module 2: Lesson 3: How to cover Stigma and discrimination

                                                                                                        Learning Objective:
                                                                                                        • Understand the interplay between socio-cultural context and stigma, and socio-cultural context and discrimination on social media.
                                                                                                        • Understand the importance of working with and building positive relations with people with lived experiences to share their stories.
                                                                                                        • Understand strategies to address stigma and discrimination as a journalist or communicator.
                                                                                                        • Analyze cases in which the media had negative and positive impacts on topics such as stigma and discrimination.
                                                                                                        Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 3 hours and 46 minutes.

                                                                                                        Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                        Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                          Peer Activities
                                                                                                            QuizzesAssignments
                                                                                                              Discussions
                                                                                                                Questionnare

                                                                                                                  Module 3: Reporting Specific Health Topics

                                                                                                                  Instructional Goals covered in this module:
                                                                                                                  • Understand how to evaluate health-related information and terminologies from scientific journals, academic conferences, private industries, and governmental sources.
                                                                                                                  • Integrate specific recommendations to report about health topics such as mental health and psychosocial support, climate change and health, violence, and outbreaks on communication products.



                                                                                                                  Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                    Peer Activities
                                                                                                                      Quizzes
                                                                                                                        Assignments
                                                                                                                          Discussions
                                                                                                                            Questionnare

                                                                                                                              Module 3: Lesson 1: How to cover Mental health and psychosocial support

                                                                                                                              Learning Objectives:
                                                                                                                              • Understand basic mental health terminology including Mental Health and Mental Disorders.
                                                                                                                              • Understand the implications of discussing mental health and psychosocial support in the media
                                                                                                                              • Remember recommendations to cover mental health and psychosocial support.
                                                                                                                              • Apply solutions journalism to elaborate messages about psychosocial support and common mental issues (anxiety, stress, depression).
                                                                                                                              • Understand the role of journalism in the prevention of suicide and the responsible communication of suicide cases.
                                                                                                                              • Understand the physical and psychological consequences and stigma of substance use disorders: "Addiction" as a barrier to accessing treatment and to recovery.
                                                                                                                              • Describe practices to write about substance use disorders and recommend warning signs without promoting stigma
                                                                                                                              Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 1 hour and 18 minutes.

                                                                                                                              Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                                              Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                  Quizzes
                                                                                                                                    Assignments
                                                                                                                                      Discussions
                                                                                                                                        Questionnare

                                                                                                                                          Module 3: Lesson 2: How to cover Violence Prevention

                                                                                                                                          Learning objectives:
                                                                                                                                          • Understand the concept of violence and different types of violence against women.
                                                                                                                                          • Understand strategies to communicate about violence with a solutions journalism approach.
                                                                                                                                          • Apply discretion when communicating information about violence.
                                                                                                                                          Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 46 minutes.

                                                                                                                                          Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                                                          Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                            Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                              Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                Assignments
                                                                                                                                                  Discussions
                                                                                                                                                    Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                      Module 3: Lesson 3: How to cover Climate change and health

                                                                                                                                                      Learning Objectives:
                                                                                                                                                      • Understand the relationship between climate change and human health.
                                                                                                                                                      • Identify key messages and recommendations to cover climate change and health.
                                                                                                                                                      • Apply solutions journalism to effectively inform the public about the effects of climate change on societal health.
                                                                                                                                                      Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 54 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                      Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                                        Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                          Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                            Assignments
                                                                                                                                                              Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                  Module 3: Lesson 4: How to cover outbreaks of diseases in a responsible and evidence-based manner

                                                                                                                                                                  Learning objectives:
                                                                                                                                                                  • Understand basic epidemiological terminology relevant to disease outbreaks.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Understand the importance of inclusiveness when reporting about disease outbreaks.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Apply solutions journalism to cover disease outbreaks.
                                                                                                                                                                  Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 1 hour and 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                  Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                                                                                  Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                                                    Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                      Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                                        Assignments
                                                                                                                                                                          Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                            Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                              Module 3: Lesson 5: How to cover vaccine misinformation

                                                                                                                                                                              Learning Objectives:
                                                                                                                                                                              • Understand basic vaccine-related terminology.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Understand how different types of media impact vaccine misinformation.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Identify existing recommendations and resources to provide information about vaccines.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Apply solutions journalism to cover vaccine misinformation.
                                                                                                                                                                              Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 9 hours and 16 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                              Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                                                                                              Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                  QuizzesAssignments
                                                                                                                                                                                    Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                      Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                                        Module 4: Self-care

                                                                                                                                                                                        Instructional Goals covered in this module:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Assess common risks for reporters and communicators along with protection and self-care recommendations.


                                                                                                                                                                                        Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                          Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                            Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                                                              Assignments
                                                                                                                                                                                                Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Module 4: Lesson 1: Tips and Recommendations for Self-Care

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Learning objectives:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Identify common risk factors that can affect the psychological and physical health of reporters and communicators.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Understand the importance of prioritizing self-care as a journalist or communicator.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Summarize tips and recommendations for self-care and risk reduction in journalism.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Evaluate risks for reporters and communicators while covering a story.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Approximate time required for the readings for this lesson (at 144 words/minute): 5 hours and 44 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Click here to start this lesson

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Required readingsOptional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                        QuizzesAssignments
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Final Exam


                                                                                                                                                                                                              Required readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Optional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    QuizzesAssignments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Course and Self Evaluation & Certificate

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          In this section, you can provide feedback about this course to help us make NextGenU.org better. Once evaluations are completed, you will be able to download your certificate of completion. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Click here give your feedback


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Required readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Optional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Assignments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Questionnare

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Course Activities

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Required readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Optional readings
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Peer Activities
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Quizzes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Assignments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Discussions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Questionnare