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"It is not often that you are aware of the revolution right while you are in the midst of it. But we are," says Alicia C. Shepard, ombudsman at National Public Radio. And with those changes come a host of challenges for journalists working in a fast-changing climate, she recently told a group of broadcasters participating in The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships.

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Let's assume that Dr. Conrad Murray did not kill Michael Jackson.

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A "show-me-the-evidence" health journalist offers tips on covering alternative medicine without dismissing all of it out of hand.

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Here's a quick roundup of recent articles localizing the potential impact of federal health reform and California's health budget cuts (see Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's additional $656 million in line-item vetoes here and the full California budget document here).

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Here's more coverage of the California budget cuts and their impact on health care, along with some new ideas for stories.

The general media consensus is that the state's Republicans won big in forcing major cuts in health and welfare programs, while Democrats are spinning their victory in saving the CalWORKS welfare program and the popular Healthy Families children's health insurance program from being eliminated outright.

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As California lawmakers finally reach a budget agreement, it's time to start assessing how the proposed deep cuts in health care services may affect your community.

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Often following a major journalistic investigation a governor or a senator or a president even will call for hearings or declare the creation of a blue ribbon panel to assess the situation and decide how to proceed.

Years can go by before a report, usually thick with euphemism and buck passing, lands on someone's desk, often a different governor or senator or president than the one who called for the assessment. Processes are "streamlined." Efficiencies are realized. Nothing really changes.

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By the time you read about the case of 9-year-old Caitlin Greenwell, unable to talk because her brain was starved of oxygen during a botched birth, you are convinced: the oversight of nurses in California is abysmal.

Her story is deep inside "When Caregivers Harm," an investigative collaboration between ProPublica and the Los Angeles Times published Sunday.

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Within hours of the news breaking about Michael Jackson's death, attention started to turn toward one of the only eyewitnesses to the event: his personal physician.

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Announcements

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.

Let us support your next ambitious health reporting project through our National Fellowship program. Apply today.

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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