Reach beyond the surface

By Briana Panetta

Health news has always interested me, and I was absolutely thrilled to receive a scholarship that included an internship at HealthDay, a self-described “leading producer and syndicator of evidence-based health news, video and custom content to Internet sites.”

During my time at HealthDay, I was responsible for posting on various social media sites, I worked on a list that consisted of over 50 pages containing contact information of experts in different medical fields. I was also able to work on scripts for their videos, and I had the opportunity to publish my own story about social media use among teens.

Health news covers such a wide array of topics such as fitness, disease, pharmaceutical research, mental health, food, demographics and so much more. Interning at HealthDay gave me the opportunity to strengthen my knowledge in health news and apply what I learned to my academics and everyday life.

For Journalism 320, our class was split into two groups. We had to come up with a topic broad enough for the entire class to cover one final story each. While the other team decided on culture, my team agreed on health.

My team put together a PowerPoint Presentation that consisted of various different sub topics within health. I was able to think of a wide variety of different topics within health and added a ton of statistical information to our PowerPoint based on some prior knowledge.

To my surprise, my team ended up winning and I became the editor in chief of our final assignment, responsible for putting together a health news website. Everyone in the class worked on various stories within health.

I found myself taking edits, suggestions and feedback I received through my work at HealthDay and applying them to my everyday work in the J School. It made me a better writer and helped me recognize and fix minor errors within my work.

I also began applying what I learned to my own personal fitness. I worked on a script surrounding a study that showed two-week diet breaks provide you with better results rather than just a continuous diet. I decided to test this study out myself.

My advice for future interns of HealthDay is to remain open-minded. With anything in life, you get out what you put in. There are so many blessings this internship can offer you if you take advantage of them. Read the articles HealthDay produces. Take advantage of the edits. Get creative with social media posting. Explore the different areas health has to offer.