September 18, 2023

Top stories

Press freedom


Covering COVID-19: Tips to find vetted and diverse experts

When covering COVID-19 this fall, be careful about picking expert sources. Make sure their expertise aligns with the topic you are writing about. Just because someone is a physician or a scientist doesn’t mean they are an expert in infectious diseases.

Here are a few places to find vetted experts:

  • SciLine: This resource for journalists will help you quickly find vetted experts for your stories. Contact them at

  • Your Local Epidemiologist: This Substack newsletter written by epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina is worth subscribing to. Her explanations of what consumers need to know about COVID-19 and other infectious diseases is accurate, clear, and helpful.

To see more tips on covering COVID-19 this fall from longtime health journalist and NPCJI Training Director Bara Vaida, click here.


A company's bereavement plan should accommodate everyone

“Loss is a universal yet individual experience profoundly affected by culture, ethnicity, and religion. This is critical for employers to consider when shaping policies, training managers, and assessing workplace culture. If not, well-meaning programs run the risk of alienating employees. For instance, some grieving traditions extend beyond the nuclear family, yet extended bereavement leave policies are often limited to immediate family members. Similarly, one’s religion or culture may require an employee to step away from work immediately or for an extended period to accommodate funeral rites and grieving rituals. Company policies are not always malleable enough to accommodate such needs. Flexible bereavement policies convey empathy by meeting a range of cultural expectations.”

-- Paurvi Bhatt, MPH, healthcare executive and care economy leader, “How to really support employees during times of grief


Tickets on sale: Press vs. Politician Spelling Bee, Sept. 20

Tickets are available for the National Press Club Journalism Institute’s Spelling Bee: Press vs. Politicians on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

This annual event pits members of Congress and Beltway reporters against each other in a friendly spelling bee competition in the Club’s Ballroom in downtown Washington, D.C. The bee raises funds to support the National Press Club Journalism Institute, which produces this newsletter.



This newsletter is written & edited by the National Press Club Journalism Institute staff: Beth Francesco, Bara Vaida, and Holly Butcher Grant. Send us your questions and suggestions for topics to cover.

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The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. As the non-profit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute powers journalism in the public interest.