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Tom Linden seemed to be on a fast track to a successful career in journalism.

He was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper in Southern California. As a college student at Yale University, Linden got his reporter's legs at the Yale Daily News and covered the New Haven Black Panther trials for the Los Angeles Times. When he graduated in 1970, he won a fellowship and secured a book deal to write about army deserters in exile who were protesting or escaping the Vietnam War.

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A judge this week rejected an attempt by the state of California to temporarily ban Dr. Conrad Murray, the doctor charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson.

Now the ball is in the Medical Board of California’s court. The board rightly sought to use the criminal justice system first to stop Murray from practicing.

But few reporters picked up on the fact that the criminal system isn’t the only route.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

I’d like to believe that dangling financial incentives in front of medical groups and doctors shouldn’t influence the quality of my health care for better or worse.

But they apparently do exactly that, according to some intriguing new research on how financial incentives influenced health screenings and treatment for millions of patients at Kaiser Permanente, the giant HMO based in California.  

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During its six-month pilot project, the California HealthCare Foundation Center for Reporting on Health at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism quietly produced in-depth journalism with California newspapers. Now, the Center has gone public with a new website and high-profile hires, including editor-in-chief David Westphal.

Picture of William Heisel

The annual Association of Health Care Journalists conference has become indispensable in a way conferences never are.

Far from just an excuse to see old friends and drink too much, the AHCJ conference is always so packed with great speakers and workshops that writers find themselves wishing for a baby monitor they could set up in one session while they attend a different session down the hall.

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If the ProPublica experiment with nonprofit investigative journalism is teaching us anything, it is the importance of follow-through.

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Health care reform, and the ideological, political and public health battles that surrounded it, reached a fever pitch in the media by the time the legislation reached the House of Representatives in March. Many members of ReportingonHealth were watching and chronicling these events closely. Here, a cross-section of reporters discusses their experience working on these complex stories.

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Sorry, Jody Ranck. I’m giving up on NetVibes for right now and will stick to my Google and Yahoo readers.

Picture of Angilee Shah

On a Saturday morning, four people wait outside the front door of a converted mini-mall in Rosemead, CA. Ten minutes later -- the doors open exactly at 9 a.m. -- the two women and two men file into the lobby to sign in for their appointments at the Asian Pacific Family Center. The front desk is covered with pamphlets in the many languages of the significant Asian immigrant populations of the San Gabriel Valley. The clinic operates in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese. Cambodian Chiu Chow, Japanese and Korean, serving over 1,700 immigrant Asian Pacific outpatient families per year.

Picture of William Heisel

When your child dies because of mistakes made by a doctor, you can sue. Scott and Kathy Broussard did that when Dr. Andrew Rutland twisted their daughter Jillian Broussard's neck so severely that he separated her head from her spine. Most patients either lose in court or settle their cases. If they settle, they go silent. How many times have you called a patient's family to be told, "We can't talk under the terms of the settlement."? The Broussards settled their case, but that didn't stop them from talking.

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The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.

Nowhere was the massive COVID wave of winter 2021 more devastating than in America’s nursing homes, where 71,000 residents died in the surge. In this webinar, we’ll hear from the lead reporter in the USA Today series "Dying for Care," who will show how an original data analysis and an exhaustive reporting effort revealed a pattern of unnecessary deaths that compounded the pandemic’s brutal toll. Sign-up here!

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