Former P-I reporter Paulson to break new ground with a global health blog for NPR
Former Seattle Post-Intelligencer health and science reporter Tom Paulson will be breaking new ground with a global health and development blog for National Public Radio.
Paulson will be working at local NPR affiliate KPLU during an 18-month trial run for the global health blog. It’s the first such blog that Paulson knows of, and he believes there’s no better place for the experiment than Seattle.
“There are hundreds of organizations working on global health and development in this region,” Paulson said. “It’s really amazing what’s happening here.”
The blog, which is slated to launch in late July, is part of a larger NPR effort called The Argo Project. Launched last year, the project selected 14 cities around the country to start topic-specific blogs. Boston’s NPR affiliate, for example, will tackle health policy, while Philadelphia will cover music. The entire project has an estimated budget of $3 million.
When Paulson heard that Seattle was selected for a global health blog, he saw it as a perfect fit. He started reporting on the Gates Foundation as a P-I reporter in the late 1990s. At that time, the foundation received little news coverage, but Paulson already believed it would be big.
After the P-I’s print paper folded last year, Paulson continued to write freelance articles on global health. He believes the beat does not receive a lot of coverage among media because it produces less breaking news and much of the actual action occurs outside of the country.
With the blog, Paulson hopes to create dialogue among the global health community both here and overseas. Ideally, someone working in Africa would read and comment on his posts, Paulson said.
Though KPLU staff asked Paulson if he’s comfortable with the occasional radio appearance, his role will primarily be to write blog posts. Paulson looks forward to exploring new media.
“I’m really excited,” Paulson said. “I’m an old newspaper hack, so I have a lot to learn.”
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