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Journalists To Discuss Challenges Of Covering Zika

Jonathan M. Katz, an award-winning journalist who covered the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake and the later cholera epidemic, will host a panel discussion on journalists’ choices and ethical responsibilities while covering the burgeoning Zika epidemic at Duke University on Wednesday, April 13.  The event, “Zika!: Journalism and Public Health Confront a New Epidemic,” is sponsored by the new Media and Journalism Initiative at Duke’s John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute. The discussion will take place at 5 p.m. in Bay 4 at the Smith Warehouse on Duke’s East Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Free event parking will be available at the Smith Warehouse South lot (enter at Buchanan and Maxwell). Katz, recently named writer in residence at the institute, is a regular New York Times contributor. He received the prestigious Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism for his coverage of the Haitian earthquake and his investigation revealing that United Nations peacekeepers caused the following cholera outbreak. In a recent New York Times Magazine essay, Katz describes contracting the Zika virus while on assignment in Haiti earlier this year. The event will also feature Simon Romero, Brazil bureau chief for the New York Times. Since 2011, Romero has overseen the Times’ coverage of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and other South American countries. Romero received the 2015 Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean.  Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello, an editor-at-large with Folha de S. Paulo, the largest newspaper in São Paulo, Brazil, will also describe her experience reporting on the emerging epidemic. Mello, a columnist for the online publication, was a finalist for the distinguished 2015 Prêmio Comunique-Se award.  Dr. Chris Woods, a professor of medicine, pathology and global health at Duke, will discuss Zika from a global health standpoint. Woods is co-director of Duke University’s Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health and chief of infectious diseases at the Durham VA Medical Center. Both Romero and Mello will participate from Brazil via videoconferencing. The event will also be live-streamed at Questions can be submitted live over the Web. Members of the public are encouraged to register for the event in advance at “Zika!: Journalism and Public Health Confront a New Epidemic” inaugurates the new Media and Journalism Initiative at the institute, which is dedicated to examining the future of journalism in a changing 21st century world.