FHSU professor presents at rural health journalism workshop

FHSU University Relations

HAYS, Kan. — Dr. Gary Brinker, director of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, recently presented at the Rural Health Journalism Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas.

The workshop gives journalists an understanding of the medical challenges of rural areas by having them meet with health care and policy experts. This allows the journalists to better inform the public about health and healthcare issues.

Brinker’s presentation, “How Do Urban and Rural Residents Differ,” explained how opinions regarding public health policy differ between rural and urban Kansans. He based his analysis on data from the Kansas Speaks surveys, the Docking Institute’s telephone survey that measures Kansans’ opinions on public issues and elected officials.

“The results showed that rural residents have opinions that work both for and against their health interests,” said Brinker.

He presented during the segment “Surveying the Rural Landscape: What Journalists Need to Understand About the Residents and Health Issues,” which focused on how the health concerns among multiple rural communities differ from one another and from urban areas.

Larry Dreiling, a policy fellow at the Docking Institute and senior field editor of The High Plains Journal, moderated the session and fielded questions from the audience of about 100.

For more information about the Docking Institute, visit https://www.fhsu.edu/docking/.

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