At least 30 journalists were killed this year, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, with 21 slain as a direct result of their work.
In at least a dozen countries worldwide, the sword is proving mightier than the pen.
Most people who read health journalism with a critical eye would say it's in bad shape. For evidence, look no further than your local newspaper (if one still exists), or go to your favorite website and learn about "the 10 ways to bust your belly fat for good." Coffee will help you live longer on Monday and kill you quicker by the weekend.
The free exchange of information has always been under attack all over the world. Thirty years ago, four journalists decided to form an organization whose sole mission was to keep track of these attacks and do whatever was within their power to fight back.
In a field supposedly peer-reviewed and self-correcting, there is a decided lack of transparency and dissemination when it comes to retractions. Enter Retraction Watch, which aims to change the paradigm.
Just about the only time the CPB is in the news is when pols make noise about choking off federal funding for public media. But if more people knew the whole story, the conversation might be different.
Here's my guiding principle: You always want to be doing work that is as close as possible to the kind of work you want to be doing in your dream job. The reasoning here is simple: Insofar as you're building skills, you want to be building skills you actually intend to use.
I'm of the opinion, in fact, that our low ranking in public opinion polls -- somewhere down close to politicians -- is because we don't even try to tell the people who we are, what we believe in, what we do and why we do it.
So allow me to try.
The Association of Health Care Journalists, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. Its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. AHCJ is classified as a 501(c)(6), a nonprofit professional trade association.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal.
We are journalists. We are proud of what we do. We are tired of bad press about the press.