Training session run jointly with the European Broadcasting Union, Rome, June 2012
Photo: Stefan Truszczynski
Past Training Sessions
Off-The Record: Can Europe cope with the rising burden of cancer?
18-19 June 2012, Rome, Italy
Report of the media training conducted by ESO in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union
22 journalists from 17 EU member states and neighbouring countries participated in a two-day training course.
On day 2 the journalists heard from the man who was called in to sort out the UK’s cancer services in 1999, after a set of Europe-wide statistics had convinced the government that the UK’s results were in the bottom half of the European league table. The journalists then took a look at how far other European countries have been taking up the idea of a ‘cancer plan’ or programme to improve services, and this was followed by a panel discussion on “Delivering high-quality cancer care in an age of austerity”, with views from the clinic, from policy making and the pharmaceutical industry.
Comments from the journalists:
“I understand we need to be a bridge between the patient and the policy makers. I would like better statistics to be available in the Ukraine, particularly about survival.”
Tetyana Melnychenko, National Television Ukraine
“I learned there are ways to get a good participation in screening programmes without using financial incentives. It is important to have international statistics and information.”
Naďa Bělovská, Czech Radio
“I was surprised to learn that standards in my country are similar to elsewhere. In Eastern Europe people tend to believe we are not getting what we should, but in fact we all face similar and complex problems.”
Maya Dancheva, Bulgarian National Radio
“I will try to focus more on the patients, not to scare them away because people are scared about illness and I will try to ask these critical questions about how they can get the best treatement.”
Meelis Süld, Estonian Public Broadcasting
“I learnt that it is possible to get better results in cancer, so that there is very good hope. I think we have to work harder, and I’ll try to do this.”
Claudia Laslo, Radio Romania
“If I had to choose a word I would remember this course by, it would be ‘money’ – money is a problem everywhere. But this age of austerity could be a chance for prevention.”
Jasmina Jamnik, RTV Slovenia
“What I will always remember is that every speaker mentioned that one in three of us will have cancer. I think I will start every report of mine with that fact!”
Živilė Kropaitė, LRT Lithuania
Cancer Czar, Mike Richards, explaining how the media had helped focus minds on poor results in the UK
Photo: Alexandra Zampetti
“Journalists can help improve quality of cancer services says UK Cancer Czar”
Report on Mike Richards’ presentation by Peter McIntyre
The best and the worst in Europe – what are they doing that we are not?
Making sense of statistics on new cases, deaths and survival rates in Europe
Silvia Francisci, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy
A risky business: reporting on statistics, research results and uncertainty
Kill or cure stories – helping your audience make sense of warnings and advice
Anna Wagstaff, Cancer World magazine
Skill or cure stories – how to interpret and present information from academic studies
Peter McIntyre, Cancer World magazine
Preventing cancer: How do you protect yourself from 200 diseases?
Kathy Redmond, Editor, Cancer World magazine
Screening stories: Avoiding the hard sell
Questions journalists should ask about screening programmes
Elke van Hoof, Head of the Belgian Cancer Centre
Full presentation Simplified version
Where are we going wrong?
What has to be done right, by whom, at each point in the patient’s journey?
Renée Otter, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Groningen, The Netherlands
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
How can my country get the best results in Europe?
The story behind the creation of the post of Cancer Czar and the implementation of the UK’s cancer plan
Mike Richards, National Cancer Director, UK
World Conference of Science Journalists
Sunday 26th June 2011
Cancer - the role of journalists in informing attitudes and beliefs
Slides from the workshop
Informing Attitudes and Beliefs about Cancer
Statistical and other resources
Myths and fatalism, together with biased information from vested interests, form a major obstacle to stemming the rising tide of suffering and death from cancer. This interactive workshop is for health, medical and science journalists who want to discuss the challenges of providing accurate information about how to avoid cancer, of covering human stories about the realities of living with cancer, and of promoting an informed debate about priorities in screening, treatment and care for the dying, where resources are limited.
Anna Wagstaff, Assistant Editor, Cancer World Magazine, UK.
Dispelling common perceptions and misconceptions about cancer:
- Prevention: We will explore what gives you cancer, what protects you and what cancers cannot be prevented
- Early detection: We will tease out the pros and cons of cancer screening
- Treatment: Poorer countries cannot afford good cancer treatments? We will try to dispel the most deadly myth of all
- Rehabilitation and palliative care: Horrendous pain is inevitable? Cancer must bring social shame? We will explore the various public perceptions that blight the lives of cancer patients
- How do these myths affect efforts to tackle cancer and support patients and their families?
- How can journalists challenge misconceptions and help inform the public?
- Can the World Cancer Declaration – an eleven-point tried and tested ‘roadmap’ for tackling cancer across the world – provide a useful framework for journalists trying to promote informed public debate and hold accountable those responsible for the nation’s healthcare and public health?
- Journalist Symposium during the UICC World Cancer Congress Crowne Plaza Hotel, Geneva - August 31st 2008
- Confronting Cancer in Syria Media Forum with International Experts and the Ministries of Health and Higher Education Le Méridien Damascus, Syria - May 4th 2008
On 4th May the Cancer Media Service and Euro-Arab School of Oncology (EASO) held a press conference in Damascus at the end of the EASO course on Lung cancer and Mesothelioma. The press conference gave journalists the opportunity to listen to and question a variety of speakers from the course as well as a representative from WHO Syria. The conference was attended by 29 journalists from 22 media organisations.
- Cancer journalism: Meeting the Challenges in Countries with limited resources” World Cancer Congress – July 8th -12th 2006
In July 2006 ESO, in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and the International Union Against Cancer, organised a media satellite event at the World Cancer Congress with the aim of promoting excellence in cancer journalism in countries with limited resources. A number of leading journalists from Uganda, Ghana, Egypt, Hungary, Bulgaria, Bolivia and the Philippines shared their experiences and highlighted ways of meeting the many challenges inherent in reporting cancer in their own country.