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return to Sound Waves article: Scientists and the Media: Impacts of Sea-level Rise

Andy Reich

Public Health

Clip 1: Communicating efficiently, responsibly, and with sensitivity, especially with issues that evoke strong public response

Florida Department of Health program coordinator Andy Reich discusses the value of having scientists listed on press releases, so that reporters can quickly reach experts, and the need to be careful with health news, so that concerned readers don't overreact.

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Andrew Reich: …Now, if it's about red tide, you could have me—it could be a quote from me. If it's about bird flu, it could be by somebody else. So, that's kind of interesting, it looks like the dynamics are changing a little bit, about what can be in the press releases and how those are marketed out to the media. So I think, in a way, that's a little bit of a positive approach because if it's a press release and it's my name, someone like Mark can call—in essence, he has a person he can call and talk to, hopefully directly, and not have to go an extra two or three steps to try to finally figure out who is the real expert on this.

Mark Walters: And a good press release, sorry to say, often, or sometimes, gives reporters their lead. And a good one, as you say, done artfully.

Andrew Reich: Again, you know, I don't think there's anything like the Department of Health wants to hide per se; we just want to be sure that, you know, that it's put in the right context at least as far as our perspective. You don't want, especially with health—people are so concerned about it, and it deals with their family and their children, their parents—that you want to make sure that what is said is balanced, and that they can have good information to make their own personal decisions, but it's not going to cause an issue where they're doing things, they're spending money, or getting stressed out about things that are not necessarily appropriate.


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cover story:
Corals, Habitats, and Paleoclimate in the Drake Passage

Scientists and the Media: Impacts of Sea-level Rise

USGS NWRC Celebrates National Women's History Month

USGS Promoted at National Science Teachers Association Conference

Meetings Field Trip for Association of American Geographers Meeting

USGS Modeling Conference

Publications New Poster Depicts Complex Bathymetry in Northern Monterey Bay

August 2008 Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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