Imagine a natural disaster hitting 14 million people around the world and killing almost two million. It would be headline news. But when TB threatens the lives of the same number of people every year, it goes largely unreported.
By drawing attention to research, making it accessible and raising questions that policymakers and the public engage with, journalists can lead the way in the fight against TB.
The public need information based on evidence from research to sort 'fact' from 'fiction' and they need questions asked of government on their behalf. What is the extent of TB? Who is most vulnerable? How much do politicians and decision-makers know about TB? What are they doing to prevent it? Are there common myths or stigmas? Good research has been done which needs to be publicly discussed so that the right decisions are made about how to tackle TB.
This briefing document sets out the main issues around communicating TB research and provides tips and ideas for journalists to develop powerful stories with a human face.
Panos Media Toolkit on Communicating Research No. 7, Panos London, London, 6 pp.