Category Archives: Editor’s Blog

Welcome to LocalHealthGuide

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MMcI would like to welcome you to Seattle LocalHealthGuide and tell you a little bit about the site’s goals and values.

First a little bit about me: I’m an M.D.—I trained in internal medicine at Virginia Mason Medical Center—but for the past 20+ years I have worked as a medical journalist.

I started out writing about health and medicine part-time while I was in practice, reporting as a freelance for such outlets as the The Washington Post’s health section, Reuters and locally for the Seattle Times and the NPR affiliate KPLU-FM.

Eventually, I became a full-time medical journalist and for ten years was a senior editor for the British medical journal The Lancet, the last seven of those years as the journal’s North American Editor.

I had felt for a long time that many important local health stories that were not being covered, so I decided to start a Website that would cover local health news, “localize” national news and provide links to local sources of information and support.

The emphasis of the content would be on health news that was useful – preferably providing information a reader could use the right away. The stories would also focus on news from the most reliable sources avaiable.

I also wanted to create a Web site that treated its readers with respect and not merely as commodity to be sold to advertisers. So LocalHealthGuide does not run the type of sensational stories that many health sites run to pump up traffic.

Instead, I hope the site will become a trusted source of health news and information and be visited by regular readers who know the site tries to cover news from credible sources that is relevant to their lives and important to their communities.

LocalHealthGuide officially launched one year ago, and the site now draws 25,000 visitors a month. That’s miniscule by Internet standards, where many sites number their monthly visitors in the tens of millions, but not bad for a site that’s grown quietly relying on word-of-mouth and the quality of its content.

In the coming year, I hope to expand the site’s coverage of local and national news and add iscussion forums where people in the region can share ideas, expereiences and concerns with others in their communities.

Your thoughts about the site and its coverage are welcome, as are any ideas or suggestions you may have that might make LocalHealthGuide a more useful service to you and your community.

If you would like to write for the site or have a column or essay you would like us to post, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michael McCarthy

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LocalHealthGuide selected to join Seattle Times’ new media project

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An electronic screen showing the NEWSLocalHealthGuide was chosen to become the fifth local news Web site to join a Seattle Times pilot program to explore how local Web-based news sites and traditional media outlets can collaborate to improve community coverage.

LocalHealthGuide will remain an independent health-news and information Web site but will work with the Seattle Times and other project partners to explore how such a network might broaden and deepen health coverage for communities in Seattle and the Puget Sound region.

The  Seattle Times program is part of a multi-city Networked Journalism project overseen by Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University in Washington, D.C. with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Over the past several years, more than 2,500 local and community news Websites have gone online nationwide. The new project seeks to help traditional news organizations and these new media outlets to work together to find ways to work together to enhance community coverage as well as develop new revenue strategies needed to support high-quality journalism.

At the end of the year-long project, the Institute for Interactive Journalism’s J-Lab (Journalism Laboratory) will prepare a report summarizing lessons learned.

The other project partners are:

Other papers that are participating in the project are:

– Michael McCarthy, M.D., Editor

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