How The Washington Post is taking a different approach to its new wellness desk

Tara Parker-Pope is doing it once more: 15 years after founding the wellness vertical at The New York Instances, Parker-Pope debuted her newest challenge on Sept. 12 — a well being and wellness hub at The Washington Submit referred to as Nicely+Being. As a part of the brand new protection space, the primary installment of a brand new weekly Nicely+Being e-newsletter written by Parker-Pope was revealed Sept. 15 with out a launch sponsor.

Damaged into 5 classes (meals, health, thoughts, physique and life), Nicely+Being has eight reporters and writers contributing to the vertical — an growth from only one wellness reporter and editor on the life-style desk. That features six new hires, together with three from the Instances. Parker-Pope is within the strategy of hiring a video journalist and an information reporter. It’s all a part of prime editor Sally Buzbee’s technique for the Submit to put money into content material past information protection to attract in additional subscribers, particularly younger individuals (a aim with much more consequence, given reports on the Submit’s stagnating enterprise). The Submit didn’t present its actual subscriber aim for the vertical.

At a time when extra publishers are coming into this house, Parker-Pope is specializing in distinctive areas that contact on wellness, comparable to incapacity and misinformation.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.

Why is The Washington Submit investing in additional well being and wellness protection?

We’re fascinated by our readers — what’s happening in our readers’ lives, what are they fascinated by, and what do they wish to know? How can we serve them? And we’re all on this form of post-pandemic reset. We’re on this collective second the place well being is entrance and heart. However we’re additionally defining well being in a brand new approach. It’s not nearly taking medication or getting a checkup or speaking to a physician. It’s in regards to the day-to-day high quality of our lives. That’s the necessity that we plan to fulfill: serving the reader at varied factors of their private well being journey, no matter that’s, and bringing science-based, skilled recommendation.

If we be taught nothing else from the pandemic, we discovered the worth of dependable, science-based recommendation. That’s the place The Washington Submit can serve this reader the best way different web sites and sources of data on social media can’t. We do have entry to a number of the prime minds and specialists, and we’ve got the experience in our newsroom to navigate the sophisticated world of non-public well being. So many individuals are attempting to kind by way of all this noise on the market and work out what the precise reply is, and I feel that’s the place we step in.

How is Nicely+Being totally different from the Instances’ wellness vertical you began?

The Nicely desk began 15 years in the past. It was a weblog, with only a few individuals, myself included. Again then, the viewers wasn’t everyone. Quick-forward to now, and what’s totally different is we’ve been by way of a time of trauma and problem and consciousness for everyone. Persons are resetting, rethinking their values, recalibrating. So we’ve got a special reader now.

I need the DNA of this desk to be in our entry to the specialists, our need to carry individuals accountable, our use of knowledge and information. I assumed, who higher to supply recommendation than a medical skilled or medical physician or a psychological well being skilled in that discipline? We created the “Ask a Physician” function as a result of I feel that actually provides worth, to attach our readers with these specialists of their discipline. We’ve got weekly columns [from them] on the science of wholesome consuming, on behavioral well being and on train and motion.

How will The Submit’s protection differ from the opposite wellness verticals on the market?

We all know that each reader isn’t an excellent match, 35-year-old athlete — particularly after the pandemic. A whole lot of us have been actually hit by the challenges of the pandemic. Sadly, there’s an entire new group of individuals with lengthy COVID and power sickness. We’re additionally actually fascinated by celebrating all ranges of ambition and skill as core to our mission assertion. We employed a incapacity [reporter], Amanda Morris. I don’t know if different newspapers have full-time incapacity writers. I don’t suppose many do, if any.

Amanda Morris is admittedly attempting to interrupt the stereotypes that we’ve got about this neighborhood of individuals. She grew up a toddler of deaf adults. She makes use of American Signal Language to speak to her household and identifies as a hard-of-hearing girl. She has a narrative out [this week] about individuals who use energy wheelchairs, powered by lithium-ion batteries. She discovered {that a} congressman had been stopped and never allowed to get on the aircraft at Logan Airport and never allowed to fly. That’s a narrative that impacts lots of people. I feel it’s uncommon to have that on a wellness desk. We wish to serve the complete neighborhood, not only a slender piece of it and I feel that’s what’s going to make us stand out. I feel numerous so-called wellness protection has been fairly unique and lots of people didn’t actually see themselves in it. 

You additionally talked about having a author on the staff protecting misinformation on social media. Why is that essential for a wellness desk?

I understand how essential science-based data is and I understand how damaging and dangerous incorrect data will be. And I feel we’ve all seen that. [General assignment reporter] Teddy Amenabar has a robust background in social viewers. He’s going to have a look at the well being data that’s being allotted on social media and across the web and assist us navigate social media for the readers. Youthful readers particularly are getting numerous well being data on social media, so I assumed it was actually essential that we’ve got a devoted reporter who understands that world.

What will likely be within the e-newsletter that gained’t be on the Nicely+Being website?

The highest of the e-newsletter will likely be authentic reporting from me. I wished to verify I’ve the chance to maintain writing though I’m on this enhancing place. I’ve been a well being columnist and science author for greater than 20 years. I’m placing my columnist’s hat on. We’ll additionally showcase a few of our protection. We’ll discuss to a number of the reporters and contributing reporters. We’ll have some useful life ideas each week. I need readers to really feel like that, in the event that they neglect to open their Nicely+Being e-newsletter, they may have missed one thing.

How The Washington Post is taking a different approach to its new wellness desk

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