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Minneapolis,Minnesota,United States

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Maryn McKenna has lived inside the "hot zone" for much of her reporting career. She honed her craft at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she was much admired for her coverage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It takes skill to persuade any large government agency to give up some of its secrets, but McKenna did just that and turned them into fascinating stories. She has since taken the enviable career path of writing books.

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If Congress and President Barack Obama decide the responsibility for health insurance falls on the shoulders of individual Americans, all of us might want to pay more attention to what's going on now in the individual insurance market and to what's promised in the legislation. If having no insurance is considered rock-bottom, having individual insurance is the next floor up. Some call it "house insurance," thinking that by having it they won't lose their homes to pay for a catastrophic illness.

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This story attempts to bust through the stereotypes about uninsured people in Minnesota, which has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the nation.

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Ms. Zoua Vang is First 5 Fresno County's advocacy/PR coordinator. She joined First 5 Fresno County in January 2005. Ms. Vang handles First 5 Fresno's internal and external communications and helps to craft as well as promote the agency's advocacy platforms. She holds bachelor's degrees in broadcast journalism and history. Before joining First 5 Fresno, Ms. Vang spent more than five years producing award-winning stories as a reporter and anchor at KSEE-TV (the NBC affiliate in Fresno). Prior to KSEE-TV, she worked as a reporter-trainee at KSTP-TV (the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis, Minn.).

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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.

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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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