PGP (The Public Good Projects), the public health nonprofit responsible for some of the nation's most successful health communication programs, announces today PGN (Public Good News), a newly launched nonprofit news wire service dedicated to distributing accurate health news to communities nationwide. Led by journalism veterans, PGN is partnering with trusted community-based organizations (CBOs) throughout the U.S., using the organization's substantial media monitoring and analysis resources to deliver factual and accessible health news to the people who need it most.
PGN will consider two primary factors when determining which regions to serve. Over 65 million Americans live in counties with only one local newspaper or none at all, and over half of states have recently used preemption to limit public health decision making power. These two issues create a severe lack of access to clear public health communications, and directly contribute to morbidity and mortality.
In the absence of trusted news sources, efforts to spread misinformation through social networks rise. With 86 percent of Americans getting their news from digital devices and social media, PGN addresses the urgent need for communities to receive carefully vetted health information from reliable sources.
"The erosion of trust in science and shared facts is a threat to every American. Our mission is to distribute accurate health news to as many people as possible by partnering with trusted CBOs throughout the U.S. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, access to fact-based health news can mean the difference between life and death," says Megan Barber, founder and editor-in-chief, PGN.
PGN's editors take a "weight-of-evidence" approach, looking to peer-reviewed research, scientific organizations and reputable sources to accurately report on how much agreement exists among scientists on a topic. PGN offers CBO partners several levels of news access, either in English or Spanish, avoiding jargon and explaining complex health topics in an approachable way. Services include weekly national health news summaries, breaking news alerts and feature stories about key public health issues and interviews with subject matter experts. Stories are published directly to CBOs' social media properties, giving their followers information about crucial health topics such as COVID-19, mental health, vaccines, maternal wellness, substance use, climate change and more.
"Both public health and journalism have been gutted in recent years, and the impact of this is a mismanaged pandemic and a misinformed public. PGN combines the best methods from health communication with the best approaches in journalism. There's no other news service that functions in this way. We believe PGN's approach of partnering with trusted community organizations will inform, educate, and motivate communities across the country. By doing that, we'll start to regain some common ground and improve health outcomes," says Dr. Joe Smyser, PhD, MSPH, chief executive officer of PGP and Publisher of PGN.
In partnership with public organizations, governments and foundations, PGP combines research, science, behavioral health, marketing and communication expertise to design and execute results-driven, evidence-based, customized health communication programs. Headquartered in New York City, NY, PGP has designed and executed some of the most successful public health programs in the U.S. To learn more, visit https://publicgoodprojects.org/
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