Covering COVID-19: Tools You Need to Tell the Story

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We're offering four sessions that will maximize your reporting and writing skills when covering COVID-19.

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We're offering four sessions that will equip you with tools and knowledge to accurately and compellingly cover the story of our lifetimes. Attend one, two, three or all four. You decide which will most benefit you.

You will leave with resources in hand to do the most accurate, thorough and equitable COVID reporting and writing you can.


10 a.m. Google Tools for Covering COVID-19: Mike Reilley of the Journalist’s Toolbox will show how you can use tools such as Google Scholar, Dataset Search, datascraping and Google Flourish to find and visualize COVID-19 data. Prior to the training, be sure to set up a free account at and check out the COVID-19 resources on the Toolbox: | Follow Mike on Twitter @journtoolbox

11 a.m. Sharing all the Voices of COVID: A panel discussion on finding diverse sources to ensure your reporting reflects the demographic impact of COVID-19 in America. Confirmed to speak:

* Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Native American Journalists Association Board member/Editor, Indian Country Today

* Eleanore Vega, Chair, SPJ National Diversity Committee

* Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President

Noon. Accuracy is Everything: Caryn Baird, Researcher with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, will present this session and will provide resources galore for attendees to take with them.

1 p.m. "Efficacy vs. Effectiveness" - Knowing the Precise Meanings of Terms: Independent journalist Bara Vaida's presentation will cover accurate use of specialized language including medical terminology and research jargon. Bara has been a journalist for more than 25 years and has been the core topic leader on infectious diseases for the Association of Health Care Journalists since 2017. In that role, she helps journalists recognize emerging stories, understand the science of diseases, as well as prevention and cures. She has worked for the National Journal, Agence France-Presse and Bloomberg News and written extensively about health care policy and the Affordable Care Act as a contributing writer with Kaiser Health News. Her work has been published in CQ Researcher, Health Affairs, MSNBC, National Public Radio, Politico, the Washington Post and WebMD. You can find her on Twitter @barav.

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Organizer Society of Professional Journalists Houston Pro Chapter

Organizer of Covering COVID-19: Tools You Need to Tell the Story

The Society of Professional Journalists is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development and protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and the press through its advocacy efforts.  The SPJ Houston Pro chapter serves journalists and journalism students and educators throughout the greater Houston area and surrounding counties.  It is one of five pro chapters in Texas; the state also has 10 campus chapters.

Stay in touch with the Houston chapter:




Twitter: @HoustonSPJ

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