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Investigative reporting on a deadline is all about having a great Rolodex.

ABC News' Lisa Stark says, "The key thing about sources is that you need them as much, if not more when you do daily news."

Echoing NBC's Robert Bazell in the keynote speech of the seminar, Stark and Michael Berens of the Seattle Times say that there is no shortcut to cultivating good sources. Having strong relationships with a large base of people who will provide you with information takes time and persistence.

Angilee Shah's picture

Lack of primary care and attention to chronic disease are the real ills of the health care system, panelists said at a seminar on health care reform for California Broadcast Fellows.

Anthony Iton, public health officer for Alameda County, says that 3 out of every 4 health care dollars goes to the treatment of chronic disease. "It is the elephant in the room. If you're not talking about chronic disease, you're not talking about health," he says.

Angilee Shah's picture

Mark Katches is the deputy managing editor for projects at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He leads a team of reporters who have been watch-dogging the use of chemicals in food containers and other products for the past two years.

William Heisel's picture

Robert Bazell doesn't mince his words when it comes to what he thinks makes good journalism. The three-time Emmy winner and NBC News' chief science and health correspondent doesn't put much stock in journalism school.

"Being a good reporter isn't about having the academic credentials," Bazell explained. What counts, he said in his keynote speech to this year's California Broadcast Fellows, is the ability to talk to the right people. "I think that all reporting is community reporting," he said.

Angilee Shah's picture

In a world of sound bites, 140-character reports and information overdose on the Internet, news about health often doesn't get all the airtime it deserves. The first session of a seminar for broadcast journalists will look at ways television, radio and multimedia journalists can boost coverage and depth in their reports.

Angilee Shah's picture

When does it make sense to tamper with a time-released medication? If the drug is a controlled substance, like the painkiller OxyContin, the answer is: never.

Doing so damages the time-released properties of the drug and can lead to a massive dose all at once. This is what makes OxyContin such a great high for people who crush it, and such a long, painful addiction for them, too.

William Heisel's picture

Writer, editor and blogger Angilee Shah is live-blogging the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships seminar for broadcasters taking place May 28-31 in Los Angeles. She's also on Twitter @ReportonHealth.

Angilee, a former managing editor of AsiaMedia, has written for the Far Eastern Economic Review, The China Beat, TimeOut Singapore , Asian GEOgraphic and Asia Pacific Arts.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't issue policy statements all that often. When it does, the statements tend to be deeply researched and full of fodder for future stories. That's the case with the "The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children," which appears today in the AAP journal Pediatrics.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

It's a common complaint among police officers. In the wake of television shows like CSI, the public expects too much. They think that cops can lift a 30-year-old fingerprint off a Pabst Blue Ribbon bottle found at the bottom of a lake just by running it through the portable 30-PBR-H2O scanner the CSI team members carry in their Thermoses.

That type of technology just doesn't exist, police are fond of saying. And even some of the high-tech stuff that does exist is only accessible by the elite officers of the major metropolitan departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

William Heisel's picture

After California voters soundly rejected several proposals to mitigate the state's staggering $21 billion budget deficit, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is suggesting unheard-of cutbacks in health and social programs. This time, the discussion isn't just about cutting money from the Healthy Families subsidized health insurance program, it's about scrapping it altogether.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

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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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