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The Reporting on Health Daily Briefing

News you can (and should) use: our curated daily collection of ideas and resources for your work, plus some fun stuff.

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Catch up with stories you might have missed over the weekend and share what you're reading in comments:

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Enough of LeBron James, already! Here’s our daily round-up of health news and resources for your work and enjoyment.

Gaga Eyes: So-called “circle lenses” that make your eyes look manga-huge are gaining a following among women channeling their own Lady Gaga. But these over-the-counter, unregulated contact lenses pose a health risk, reports USA Today, following a recent story in the New York Times.

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Here’s our daily round-up of news and resources for your work and pleasure:

ScienceBlogs: If you’ve been following the ScienceBlogs/PepsiCo debacle, it’s over: ScienceBlogger PZ Myers reports that the blog network has “expelled” Pepsi’s “Food Frontiers” blog.

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Here’s what we’re reading today at ReportingonHealth: 

"You could nominate Gandhi to be head of CMS and that would be controversial right now." That gem of a quote, from a CBS News story on Donald Berwick’s recess appointment to run Medicaid and Medicare,  comes courtesy of Tom Scully, who held that job under President George W. Bush.

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How will health reform affect the nation’s emergency rooms? The AP’s Carla K. Johnson provides a glimpse of the future in this story, and it’s crowded. She writes:

Emergency rooms, the only choice for patients who can't find care elsewhere, may grow even more crowded with longer wait times under the nation's new health law.

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As patients, we tend not to think much about generic medications, except to appreciate that they’re a lot cheaper than brand name drugs.

That’s why this list of top 10 lifesaving generic medications by Dr. Ed Pullen of Puyallup, Wa. was such an interesting read, particularly in this recession. Pullen offers some historical context:

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Insect Trap West Nile Virus
Well, that’s a relief. Last year’s West Nile virus season turned out to be the mildest in eight years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and this summer promises the same.
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The number of obese American children might be declining slightly, but adults? Not so much. A new report finds more grownups getting fatter in 28 states, a hefty number of them in the South.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Reuters’ story:

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It’s a dismal day for diabetes drugs, with new research showing that Avandia raises the risks for heart disease and stroke and problematic side effects reported for taspoglutide, an experimental diabetes drug from Roche that was expected to be a huge seller.  

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Lots of coverage today on a new study linking frequent indoor tanning with a higher risk of getting melanoma, one of the more deadly types of skin cancer. But why aren't more reporters also writing about the absolute risks?



Domestic violence affects tens of millions of Americans every year. Yet media outlets mostly treat incidents as "cops" items, if they cover them at all, as opposed to treating domestic violence as a public health problem. Our free two-day symposium will help journalists understand the root causes and promising prevention, intervention and treatment approaches.  Plus participants will be able to apply for grants to report California-focused projects.

The pandemic has unleashed a tsunami of misinformation, lies and half-truths capable of proliferating faster than the virus itself. In our next webinar, we’ll delve into what one of our speakers has termed “the natural ecology of bullshit” — how to spot it, how it spreads, who is most impacted, and how to counter it. And we’ll discuss reporting examples, strategies and story ideas that incorporate these insights and effectively communicate to diverse audiences. Sign-up here!

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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