The Impact of Midcareer Training on Journalistic Work


Lee B. Becker, Tudor Vlad, Amanda Swennes, Benandre Parham,

Lauren Teffeau and Marcia Apperson


Training opportunities for working journalists have become a common feature of the professional environment in many countries. These programs–often referred to as midcareer training–are offered by the employer, by formal educational institutions, or by independent training organizations. Despite the prominence of these training programs, relatively little research has been done on the consequences of this training. This paper summarizes the findings of an evaluation of two training programs operated in the United States that are designed to help journalists better cover public health issues. The analysis shows that the journalists were more likely to deal with health risks in their stories after spending time in the program at the CDC than they did before. The journalists also changed their sources, relying more heavily on the experts at the CDC. The journalists did not include more statistical material. They did not rely more heavily on technical reports and research findings.

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