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October 5, 1994

Training Health Professionals to Use the Media-Reply

JAMA. 1994;272(13):1002-1003. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520130036021

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In Reply.  —We appreciate Mr Hartman's comments, particularly his experience as a television journalist and his work in a health department that interacts extensively with the media. The points he makes concerning the need for good training on media interactions, understanding the motives of reporters and their bias toward negative news, and the need for advance preparation by public health professionals for media contact are useful and we concur.It would be unfortunate, however, if individual practitioners or institutions were left to address so important a training need without the benefits of national leadership, broad exchange of information, and coordination. As we noted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has focused on the importance of health communication in prevention activities, and we hope the CDC will offer training opportunities to state and local health officers and others in public health and medicine who are contacted frequently by the

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