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A data-driven look at opioid addiction in San Diego found that old assumptions about addiction hotspots were outdated. Reporter Leo Castaneda shares this and other field lessons he learned along the way.
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This story was produced as a project for the California Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of the Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s richest, most advanced companies. But underneath highways and along riverbeds, a scattered network of shantytowns endures. Santa Clara Co. has one of the most acute homelessness problems in the nation.

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Montana native D Gregory Smith felt alone, helpless and suicidal as a teen about feelings for other young men. He became a priest hoping to turn off his sexuality, but ultimately decided to come out as a gay man. He now counsels LGBT high school and college students and gay men.

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Dominic Liam Gliko, 20, discusses the challenges he faced as an adolescent wrestling with his sexuality, including attempts at suicide. Born female, Gliko ultimately decided to become a man.

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Being LGBT is not a risk factor for suicide, but the stressors they encounter, like discrimination and harassment, are directly associated with suicidal behavior. The challenge of being an LGBT youth is compounded in mostly rural Montana, where there are few places for "different" people to belong.

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Indian country is a very different world from the one most of us mainstream reporters inhabit. Here are some ways to make stories about Native Americans easier to put together and more accurate.

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Native teens and twenty-somethings are killing themselves at an alarming pace. For those 15 to 24, the rate is 3.5 times that of other Americans and rising.

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 I will be reporting on three health issues that affect Latino families in North Texas, as part of my National Health Journalism Fellowship.

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Living with HIV or AIDS can be an unyielding source of stress that is not easily handled alone. It takes support, activism and a strong determination to not only survive, but thrive with a disease that takes a heavy mental, physical and emotional toll.

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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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