One Health is one of the most important tools we have at our disposal to tackle the most pressing challenges that our planet is facing. Collaboration between organizations, decision-makers, experts of multiple disciplines, and local communities are essential to tackling future pandemics, endemic zoonotic diseases, antimicrobial resistance and food insecurity, among other issues.
The One Health paradigm uses what is known as the systems approach to public health: the premise that no single sector can achieve impactful, sustainable results alone and that it is only through addressing the interconnectedness of society that we can reduce health inequities and improve health outcomes for all. Although this integrated approach is widely accepted as the most effective way to reduce these risks, it receives little media attention.
At the 2022 One Health World Congress in Singapore, held from November 7-11, 2022, EJN and its sister organization, the Health Journalism Network, spoke to One Health experts across different sectors — from public health officials to veterinarians to veteran journalists — on the importance of integrated reporting and collaborative approaches to understanding and educating the public on the intersections of human, environmental and animal health.
Before you get started on your next One Health story, listen to these quick takeaways, tips and tricks for journalists from the experts.
On covering One Health:
"Pick your entry point and what most interests you."
— Doreen Robinson, Head of Biodiversity and Land, United Nations Environment Programme
"It's really important to learn the basics. That takes a lot of time."
—Jason Gale, Senior Editor and Biodiversity Correspondent, Bloomberg News Australia
"It doesn't necessarily always need to be a hot news angle."
— Liying Lee, Correspondent at Strait Times
"We need to talk about not the health of the planet, but the health of the living systems on the planet."
— David Quammen, Author of "Spillover: Animal Infections & The Next Human Pandemic"
"One Health is overcomplicated. Really it's about, at the very basic level, working together."
— Dr Francette Dusan, Master of Veterinary Public Health Management, Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security
"Sometimes a scientist will not have the right language to pass information onto people."
— Dr Salome Bukachi, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi
"Journalists can help us, and should help us."
— Naomi Ngaruiya, Senior Project Manager, Epidemics and Pandemics Preparedness Program, Kenya Red Cross Society
"Policymakers don't have public attention. Therefore, you need the media."
— Swee Kheng Khor, Physician specializing in health systems and global health
"The only way you can [bring] entrenched interests together is by having a common language and a common understanding."
— Dr Osman Dar, Director, One Health Project, Global Health Programme
"The future of our planet is cooperation. Journalists can help us a lot."
—Prof Jakob Zinsstag, Head of Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute Department at the University of Basel
To dive deeper into story themes and ideas, case studies and further reading, check out our tipsheet: A Journalist's Guide to Covering and Implementing the One Health Approach in Reporting.
Banner image: Doreen Robinson, Head of Biodiversity Land, United Nations Environment Programme at the One Health World Congress in Singapore