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Investigating Health

This column offers thoughtful commentary on untold and overlooked issues that are ripe for journalism and policy exploration and investigation. We highlight great investigative journalism coverage, talk to leading reporters and thinkers, share resources and datasets rich with untold stories, and discuss how to navigate the roadblocks confronted in hard-hitting investigations.

Picture of William Heisel
There's most likely a Superfund site near you. Here's why all that nasty toxic waste is ripe for sustained investigative reporting, as contributor Bill Heisel explains.
Picture of Kathleen McGrory
What’s the best way to vet the tips and decide which to pursue? These are the steps the Tampa Bay Times' deputy investigations editor takes and the records she seeks out.
Picture of Gary Schwitzer
Even when stories get the facts right, they often fail to provide crucial context and caveats that would help audiences make sense of the news — or lack thereof.
Picture of William Heisel
It’s exciting to talk about going to jail to protect a source. But it’s much more practical to talk about how you can keep yourself out of court entirely.
Picture of William Heisel
The latest outbreak of a drug-resistant bacteria in beef and cheese reminds journalists that the development of antibiotic resistance in animals and humans is now a true health hazard. Here's how to start covering the story near you.
Picture of William Heisel
The recent news that Armstrong’s death in 2012 may have been due to complications from a medical procedure was big news for history buffs, space fans, and investigative reporters. Here's why.
Picture of Kathleen McGrory
For reporters on the health beat, Medicaid is a vital source of watchdog stories. Check out these six great tips from veteran journalists on how to investigate Medicaid stories at local and regional outlets.
Picture of William Heisel
What can you do to make sure you’re not in a position where outing a source is an option?
Picture of William Heisel
How can you find out if hospitals or health centers near you are doing enough to ensure good maternal health? Start by pretending you are a first-time mother in crisis.
Picture of Trudy  Lieberman
Taken together these stories on pediatric surgery programs raises serious questions about American hospitals and the care they provide. Here are a few worthy of further examination.

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As public health officials like to say, "COVID-19 isn't done with us." And journalists know that we're not done with COVID-19. Apply now for five days of stimulating discussions on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color -- plus reporting and engagement grants of $2k-$10k and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project.

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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