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Announcing a new Croakey service, reporting on the National Rural Health Conference

This post is announcing a new development at Croakey: the launch of a service to provide news reports from public health and health policy conferences.

I am delighted that the National Rural Health Alliance has agreed to trial the service at the 12th National Rural Health Conference, to be held in Adelaide from 7-10 April.

Freelance journalist Marge Overs – who has a longstanding commitment to rural health, including as a former editor of Australian Rural Doctor magazine – will provide reports from the conference for Croakey and via Twitter.

These articles will provide independent reporting on the conference – they will not be vetted by the NRHA prior to publication.

Her reports will also be available to the NRHA and other organisations (subject to agreement) to publish in their own newsletters.

The NRHA will pay for the costs of Marge’s time and related expenses, and for my time in editing and publishing the articles.

In the interests of transparency, these articles will be clearly badged as part of this arrangement (using the logo on this post).

From Croakey’s perspective, the aims are:

• To provide a service to Croakey’s readers.

• To test new models for the funding and production of journalism.

• To help ensure the sustainability of Croakey.

Marge Overs, who has covered the past three National Rural Health Conferences for Australian Rural Doctor magazine, is looking forward to the opportunity to report this important conference to a broader audience. She says:

“As well as covering the keynote speakers, I hope to highlight some of the many concurrent session speakers and their important and positive work in local communities.

“Some of the most interesting rural and remote stories I have reported over the years have originated from this conference.”

Gordon Gregory, Executive Director of the NRHA, says the Alliance is pleased to be collaborating in a trial of this new service. He says:

“One of the hallmarks of this conference over the years has been its political relevance. It has always had a process whereby delegates are asked to agree on priority recommendations to be put to governments and others, so it’s vital to have as much publicity as possible.

The Alliance is already a regular user of Twitter and online media like Croakey are obviously vital these days. Having an experienced rural health writer provide independent pieces through these means will help give wide exposure to the conference themes and findings.

The work through Twitter and Croakey will add to the conference’s media exposure, not replace other forms. We will still be speaking to people in rural and remote areas as much as we can through regional radio and traditional print media.”

Croakey’s other moderators, Jennifer Doggett and Mark Metherell, are also available for reporting on other public health and health policy conferences that may be of interest to this blog’s readers.

Contact Croakey direct if this is of potential interest for your conference.

This service is only available for public health/health policy conferences, given concerns about premature reporting of preliminary findings from scientific and clinical conferences. (See related articles).




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  • 1
    Kim Carlson
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Great idea!