The Croakey blog is a forum for debate and discussion about health issues and policy.
It is moderated by Melissa Sweet, a freelance journalist with a personal and professional bent towards public health perspectives. In late 2012, health policy consultant and analyst Jennifer Doggett came on board to help with moderation, as did Michelle Culhane-Hughes in early 2013. In August 2013, journalist and editor Marie McInerney joined the team. (Former Fairfax journalist Mark Metherell was also briefly involved, before taking up a job with the Consumers Health Forum).
Regular contributors include members of the Crikey Health and Medical Panel (CHAMP) – more than 250 people who want to help contribute to a more informed and wide-ranging public debate about health issues.
Croakey is particularly keen to talk about public health, media coverage of health, social media and health, Indigenous health, marketing by the health, medical and food industries, tobacco and alcohol-related issues, rural health, mental health, consumer participation in decision-making, evidence-based care, quality and safety of health care, equity in health, and the social determinants of health.
We also want to make it easier for people to contribute to debate; to tear down some of the barriers erected by governments, bureaucracies, organisations and others with a vested interest in maintaining the timidity and dishonesty which characterises so much public discussion.
You can read more about the background to the Crikey Health and Medical Panel in this article from the Medical Journal of Australia (abstract is free; full article is not but if you want a copy, let me know). CHAMP members also contribute articles to the daily Crikey bulletin.
From mid 2007 until the end of October 2009, Crikey paid Melissa Sweet for coordinating the CHAMP. When Crikey stopped this funding, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) organised a consortium of organisations to help fund the project. Further details about the funding arrangements are here.
As part of a commitment to editorial independence, all members of the consortium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating they shall have no say over Croakey’s editorial direction or content. Further details about conflicts of interest are available here.
In mid-2013, the Sax Institute launched a probono contribution, The Health Wrap, which is compiled every fortnight by experienced health and medical journalists Kellie Bisset and Melissa Davey.
It should be noted that Croakey likes a healthy debate; the articles posted from contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of Melissa Sweet or the other moderators.