Media Moves

Health care biz reporter writes about his own cancer

November 7, 2016

Posted by Chris Roush

John RussellJohn Russell, who covers health care for the Indianapolis Business Journal, writes about his Stage 2 bladder cancer.

Russell writes, “I could use an editor on this one. There are so many ways to write this.

“How about the traditional hard-news lead? (IBJ reporter John Russell has Stage 2 bladder cancer, his doctor told him last week. He has a high chance of survival, but the treatment will be rigorous, involving several months of chemotherapy, followed by vomiting, hair loss and major surgery.)

“Probably too strong. How about something a bit more relaxed and narrative? (John woke up on Oct. 18, full of energy. He started the day with a four-mile run, and then got dressed and drove to the west side for coffee with a source, where he picked up three good story ideas he knew his editor would love.)

“No, now it’s too bland. No tension. Throw in some irony, at least. (John got to the office around 11, and discovered the company was offering free flu shots. He got in line immediately, congratulating himself for taking a step to avoid fever, chills and nausea in the weeks ahead.)

“Nice. Now add some foreboding. (After getting his shot, John settled at his desk and checked his email. Just a day earlier, he had asked a PR contact at Eli Lilly for some information about the drug company’s latest cancer research. With the news of a ‘cancer moonshot,’ it might be a good time to do a big take-out on Lilly’s research.)”

Read more here.

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