Previous training & events

Previous Training Events

ESO organizes workshops on covering cancer stories in the mass media. These workshops provide journalists with a forum for discussing challenges, sharing solutions and honing their skills in covering stories on all aspects of cancer. The workshops are open to all journalists with a track record of covering cancer stories in print, on radio and television or online.

Reporting on Cancer
ESO @ #ECC2015
25 September – 29 September 2015 Congress Centre Messe, Vienna, Austria

The European School of Oncology (ESO), in collaboration with the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), offered grants to 15 European health journalists to attend the 18th ECCO – 40th ESMO European Cancer Congress. The Fellowships gave full access to the Congress, to the Press Office, and to the daily meeting of the ESO group where those attending could question some specialists in more detail and share experiences.

ESMO 2014 Congress, Madrid, 26-30 September 2014

Schermata 2016-05-02 alle 18.26.45ESO collaborated with the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) to offer 15 health journalists a unique opportunity to attend the ESMO 2014 Congress, to hear the leaders in clinical research talk about progress in treating cancer, including successes and setbacks in moving towards ‘precision medicine’, where treatments are finely tuned to the individual patient, and the molecular characteristics of their cancer and the host tissue.

ESO covered journalists’ travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

Various sessions were organised for the journalists during the conference to help them get the most out of their attendance and to give them the opportunity to quiz leading researchers, policy makers, politicians and patient advocates, about the implications of latest scientific and medical developments within the context of today’s cash-strapped health services.


A write up and video interviews from the attending journalists can be viewed on The Cancer Blog: “A new scientific discovery: the good journalist.


Off-The Record: Can Europe cope with the rising burden of cancer?
18-19 June 2012, Rome, Italy

Report of the media training conducted by ESO in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union

22 journalists from 17 EU member states and neighbouring countries participated in a two-day training course.

Comments from the journalists:

Cancer Czar, Mike Richards, explaining how the media had helped focus minds on poor results in the UK Photo: Alexandra Zampetti
Cancer Czar, Mike Richards, explaining how the media had helped focus minds on poor results in the UK
Photo: Alexandra Zampetti

“I understand we need to be a bridge between the patient and the policy makers. I would like better statistics to be available in the Ukraine, particularly about survival.”
Tetyana Melnychenko, National Television Ukraine

“I learned there are ways to get a good participation in screening programmes without using financial incentives. It is important to have international statistics and information.”
Naďa Bělovská, Czech Radio

“I was surprised to learn that standards in my country are similar to elsewhere. In Eastern Europe people tend to believe we are not getting what we should, but in fact we all face similar and complex problems.”
Maya Dancheva, Bulgarian National Radio

“I will try to focus more on the patients, not to scare them away because people are scared about illness and I will try to ask these critical questions about how they can get the best treatement.”
Meelis Süld, Estonian Public Broadcasting

“I learnt that it is possible to get better results in cancer, so that there is very good hope. I think we have to work harder, and I’ll try to do this.”
Claudia Laslo, Radio Romania

“If I had to choose a word I would remember this course by, it would be ‘money’ – money is a problem everywhere. But this age of austerity could be a chance for prevention.”
Jasmina Jamnik, RTV Slovenia

“What I will always remember is that every speaker mentioned that one in three of us will have cancer. I think I will start every report of mine with that fact!”
Zivilė Kropaitė, LRT Lithuania


“Journalists can help improve quality of cancer services says UK Cancer Czar”
Report on Mike Richards’ presentation by Peter McIntyre

The best and the worst in Europe – what are they doing that we are not?
Making sense of statistics on new cases, deaths and survival rates in Europe
Silvia Francisci, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

A risky business: reporting on statistics, research results and uncertainty
Kill or cure stories – helping your audience make sense of warnings and advice
Anna Wagstaff, Cancer World magazine

Skill or cure stories – how to interpret and present information from academic studies
Peter McIntyre, Cancer World magazine

Preventing cancer: How do you protect yourself from 200 diseases?
Kathy Redmond, Editor, Cancer World magazine

Screening stories: Avoiding the hard sell
Questions journalists should ask about screening programmes
Elke van Hoof, Head of the Belgian Cancer Centre
Full presentation – Simplified version

Where are we going wrong?
What has to be done right, by whom, at each point in the patient’s journey?
Renée Otter, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Groningen, The Netherlands
Part 1Part 2Part 3

How can my country get the best results in Europe?
The story behind the creation of the post of Cancer Czar and the implementation of the UK’s cancer plan
Mike Richards, National Cancer Director, UK


Among the recent Media Events

World Conference of Science Journalists
24th – 28th June 2013
Helsinki, Finland

As part of the World Conference of Science Journalists ESO held a workshop and lunchtime session for cancer reporting journalists

Workshop: Providing high quality cancer care in an age of austerity: is it too much to ask?

The global financial crisis has accelerated trends across the developed world towards rationing in cancer care. Stories about patients being denied access to expensive treatments or investigations are becoming increasingly common, and many patients now fear being abandoned as “a hopeless case” as doctors and hospitals are forced to keep to tight budgets. However, research shows that decisions about what cancer services to offer and how are often taken by the wrong people, in the wrong way for the wrong reasons, leading to a huge waste of resources. This workshop will explore the techniques and sources journalists can use to investigate how effectively cancer services are delivered in their own health systems.

Kathy Redmond, Editor, Cancer World Magazine, Lugano, Switzerland

Richard Sullivan, Director of King’s Health Partners Institute of Cancer Policy and Global Health, London, UK
Matti Aapro, Dean of the Multidisciplinary Oncology Institute, Genolier, Switzerland and European School of Oncology

Slides from the session
Can We Afford Cancer? A Policy Makers Perspective
“What is quality cancer care”An Oncologist’s Perspective

Lunch time Symposium: Saving lives in cancer: averting a global epidemic

One and a half million men, women and children every year could be spared the tragedy of suffering and dying from cancer, so long as governments deliver on promises they made in 2012 to cut premature deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. But there is no chance that this will happen without a radical change in approach. In October 2012 the World Oncology Forum, a closed meeting of 100 top international cancer experts and leading journalists organised by the European School of Oncology, concluded that current strategies for controlling cancer are not fit for purpose. It identified 10 actions that will be essential to reverse the current explosion in new cancer cases, secure appropriate treatment and support for all people with cancer, and find effective cures. At this lunchtime session we invite you to join two of these leading international experts to hear more about this 10-point action plan. And we will ask: how can journalists help shift the way cancer stories are framed, from a heavy focus on potential cures that rarely deliver, to a critical discussion of the proven strategies and concerted global action that could ensure governments do deliver on their promises?

Clive Cookson, Science Editor, Financial Times

Richard Sullivan, Director of King’s Health Partners Institute of Cancer Policy and Global Health, London, UK
Cary Adams, Chief Executive Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Geneva, Switzerland

Slides from the session
briefing notes

* * * * * * * * * * * *

World Conference of Science Journalists
27th – 29th June 2011
Doha, Qatar

As part of the World Conference of Science Journalists the European School of Oncology held a lunch time session on 27th June 2011 titled:

Putting Cancer on the Global Health Agenda

During the session journalists were encouraged to take action over the coming two months to raise awareness about the upcoming UN Summit on Non-communicable Diseases and to work with the cancer community to put cancer on the global health agenda.

Main Speaker:
Cary Adams, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), Switzerland

Anna Wagstaff, Assistant Editor for Cancer World magazine, United Kingdom
Mohammed Yahia, Nature Middle East

Kathy Redmond, European School of Oncology (Cancer Media Service), Italy

Slides from the session
ESO Putting Cancer on Global Agenda

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Cancer Time for a Reality Check was held on Friday 26th October 2007

The following article on the Media Forum appeared in Cancer World magazine, issue 22.

Our responsibility, our choices  (pdf)
ESO invites the media to a reality check on cancer