My tips for covering Long COVID (using data, records, and patient interviews)

Cover slide from my workshop at NICAR this weekend.

On Friday, I led a workshop at NICAR about covering Long COVID. NICAR is a data journalism conference—the acronym stands for National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, which is an old-school term for data journalism—so my session focused on data sources, along with suggestions for public records requests and for interviewing long-haulers.

My main goal for the workshop was to introduce Long COVID as a worthwhile coverage topic for journalists who aren’t already on the science or health beat. Plenty of science/health reporters (like myself) have written great articles about biomedical research, patient experiences, and other similar topics. But there are many other facets of Long COVID, ranging from its impact on work to the public agencies that should be held accountable for failing to address this crisis.

To that end, I spent part of the session talking about excellent Long COVID articles that don’t focus on science/health topics. I also gave attendees a prompt to brainstorm story ideas for their beats or coverage areas. This led to some interesting conversations about potential local stories on Long COVID clinics, Household Pulse Survey data, tracking disability applications, and more.

If you’re curious to see more of what I shared from the session: here’s a link to the tipsheet I compiled, and here’s a link to my slides.

Also: as I’ve mentioned previously, I am currently leading a project at MuckRock (where I work part-time) to investigate U.S. government responses to Long COVID. For any journalists who may be interested in collaborating with MuckRock on Long COVID or other public health topics, you can reach out to us here.

More Long COVID coverage

COVID source shout-out: Patient-Led Research Collaborative
In this final newsletter, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite sources for new research on COVID-19 and Long COVID (and one that published a new paper recently): the Patient-Led Research Collaborative (PLRC). PLRC is a group of people …
Sources and updates, October 29
Sources and updates for the week of October 29 include healthcare worker burnout, an update about viral load, new Long COVID papers, and more.
Sources and updates, October 22
Sources and updates for the week of October 22 include new Long COVID papers, hospital-acquired infections, and global wastewater surveillance.
COVID source shout-out: Diagnosing and managing ME/CFS
Despite impacting millions of people prior to the pandemic, ME/CFS is not well studied; research into the condition is underfunded, and doctors typically don’t learn about it during their training. A new paper from the Rochester Mayo Clinic and ME …
Sources and updates, October 15
Sources and updates for the week of October 15 include local COVID-19 advocacy groups, next-generation vaccines, and Long COVID papers.
Sources and updates, October 8
Sources and updates for the week of October 8 include new papers about booster shot uptake, at-home tests, and Long COVID symptoms.

One thought on “My tips for covering Long COVID (using data, records, and patient interviews)

Leave a Reply