Bringing science and development together through original news and analysis

  • Effective TB reporting

This guide, published by Panos London, highlights the devastating impact of tuberculosis (TB) in the developing world and advises journalists on how to play a key role in combating the disease.

The author calls on the mass media to reverse the underreporting of TB — a curable disease that threatens the lives of 14 million people around the world and kills about two million every year.

The public need information based on evidence from research and they need questions asked of governments on their behalf. This is where journalists can play a vital role, says the author. Clear information in mass media will dispel myths and combat fear and stigmas. Journalists should communicate research findings and challenge policymakers to respond more effectively.

The author suggests story ideas such as: What is your country's TB profile? How much is spent on TB? Who are the leading researchers and key policymakers? Are research findings impacting on policy? What prevents people from being diagnosed and getting treatment? What do ordinary people, politicians and policymakers know about TB?

Other angles to explore include cultural and religious influences, the impacts on children, the role of traditional healers, the importance of nutrition and the connection between TB and HIV/AIDS.

Giving TB a human face will also draw attention. To do this, journalists need to tell the stories of affected people, highlighting the human cost. Well-known TB survivors can be powerful role models, but journalists must be sensitive to issues of confidentiality, the author warns.

The guide provides background on TB prevalence, vulnerability, diagnosis and socioeconomic impact, backed up by statistics and case studies. It includes contact information for research organisations and lists a number of useful web sites.

Link to full guide from Panos

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.