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From China to California

From China to California

Picture of Angilee Shah

Today's Daily Briefing travels to Chinese mental institutions, California prisons, and all over the map with bogus trend stories.

The Mental Ward: The New York Times ran two essential stories at the end of this week. Yesterday, Sharon LaFraniere's feature chronicled the lack of mental health care in China, most graphically illustrated by violent crimes committed by people who needed care. Today, the Times ran a second article by LaFraniere and Dan Levin about how psychiatric institutions are used to quell unrest rather than treat the sick.

Animal Testing: A New York court ruled that information about substance abuse experiments payed for by tax dollars must be public. Cathleen Crowley shares highlights and original documents from the case and asks for readers input on a through-provoking topic.

Trending Topics? Jack Schafer at Slate held a week-long contest encouraging readers to deflate the "bogus trend story." It's a problem that pervades health reporting and though no health stories were selected for the special honor this week, Schafer brings back some doozies from his prior posts: In July, he took apart a story about drivers on prescription medications and an alarmist report about Robo tripping. In May, he questioned a story about marijuana use in the kitchen.

Listen: The family of a California inmate who died from untreated cancer while in prison was awarded $2 million today. KPCC has the report. You can find out more about the challenges of reporting on prison health care from an archived conversation with Julie Small.


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