My Experience Working on ReproNews

My Experience Working on ReproNews

By Janae Burney

My name is Janae Burney, and I am a Junior majoring in Public Health and minoring in Africana Studies here at Tulane. This summer, I had the opportunity to work directly with the Newcomb Institute and Dr. Clare Daniel as Co-Editor of ReproNews, Tulane’s monthly reproductive rights and reproductive health newsletter. My passion for the field of public health comes from my belief that health education is the best way to promote health equity and help communities feel more educated about their health. I can proudly say that over the course of the summer, I have been accomplishing my goal of keeping myself and my peers informed about their reproductive health and the political decisions being made that impact public health. ReproNews has also allowed me to highlight BlPOC, Queer-led organizations leading the fight for reproductive justice in New Orleans and beyond. 

Before working on ReproNews, I would not have considered myself ‘well-versed’ on policy-related issues and changing laws. I thought it was possible to discuss health and policy as separate arenas, but I was mistaken. The decisions made by our legislators, especially during important events like legislative sessions, directly impact our access to comprehensive healthcare and knowledge of our health, whether that be through school curricula, insurance policies, or abortion mandates.  As editor of a news platform that is designed to keep people informed about, well, ‘reproductive news,’ I was forced out of my comfort zone in a way that I am grateful for. Hours of reading legislative session summaries and reviewing legislation-related content have allowed me to be more knowledgeable about the process by which bills are proposed and implemented and the work that goes into contacting legislators, advocating for the opposition, and passing different bills. 

Being that the majority of my responsibilities included searching through hundreds of websites and news outlets for relevant news, resources, and events, working on ReproNews has also allowed me to develop my media literacy skills. Not only do I pay more attention to social media as I look for content to highlight, but I am also constantly reviewing the credibility of news articles that I may have previously read and blindly accepted as the truth. In a day and age where we consume so much content, it is important to have discernment and be critical about what you read. 

Overall, my experience working with ReproNews for the summer has been extremely educational and enlightening. Not only have I enhanced my writing and graphic design skills, but I got to educate myself and others in the process. I am looking forward to all that I will learn through this work in the future.