ABC’s Sergel to offer ‘Unique Approach to Medical News Gathering’

Roger Sergel, managing editor of medical coverage for ABC News, will speak on campus on Friday, Oct. 1, as a guest of the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

He will discuss “Who Needs a Telephone: A Unique Approach to Medical News Gathering” at a master’s tea to be held at 4 p.m. in Pierson College, 231 Park St. The event is free and open to all.

Sergel oversees ABC News’ Medical Unit and all medical reporting on “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “20/20,” as well as other broadcasts and platforms. He has more than 36 years’ experience in broadcast journalism and nearly 30 years’ experience in medical reporting.

In 1996, Sergel created the ABC News Medical Unit, which evaluates medical information for all broadcasts and also develops story ideas. As part of that unit, Sergel established a unique system of e-mailing doctors and public relations contacts throughout the medical field in order to obtain feedback about developing stories. The e-mail network today includes over 12,000 doctors in 200 specialty areas and over 1,000 public relations professionals at the federal government health agencies, medical centers, hospitals, specialty organizations, pharmaceutical companies and managed care companies. No other news organization covering medicine has a comparable network of contacts.

The Medical Unit also produces a daily memo, which evaluates studies and news releases. It is distributed throughout ABC News and to over 50 medical producers and reporters at ABC affiliated stations. The unit is responsible for producing a daily “Medical Minute” on NewsOne, ABC’s affiliate news service seen by over one million people. Additionally, the unit produces a health program three times a week on the video Internet outlet of ABC News.

The Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, established by Nelson Poynter (Yale, M.A. 1927), brings to campus reporters, editors and others who have made important contributions to the media, with the aim of helping Yale students and faculty gain special insight into the media and its role in contemporary culture.

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