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During our first California Broadcast Journalism Fellowship we listened to Julie Rovner, National Public Radio’s correspondent on the Health Policy and Science Desk, talk on a panel about health care reform. But at NPR, "health care reform" is a banned phrase on the air. Reform, Rovner said, is not a neutral term so she opts instead for "health care overhaul." Whatever you call it, it's a huge and timely issue.

The June 8 edition of Newsweek has a must-read story about the world's most influential celebrity.

Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert meticulously detail how Oprah Winfrey uses her show, her magazine and her Web site as a platform for some completely loony health advice, including needle-and-thread facelifts, avoiding vaccines, daily hormone injections into the vagina to stop aging and thinking positively as an alternative to surgery.

William Heisel's picture

Gary Schwitzer is the professor that health reporters fear. With the creation of HealthNewsReview, he has brought back nightmares of having your work marked up in red and posted on a corkboard for everyone to see.

William Heisel's picture

A story today out of Nigeria had me thinking about my interview with Father William Cleary last month.

William Heisel's picture

A federal court of appeals recently upheld a lower court's 2006 decision that found the tobacco industry guilty of racketeering and fraud. The House of Representatives has already voted to give the F.D.A. powers to regulate tobacco products, and the Senate is considering a similar vote. It's time for universities such as the University of California to wake up and cut their research ties with Big Tobacco, which has long used university research results to defraud the public.

asingh's picture

A new study released in the Journal Pediatrics has confirmed what many of us in public health already knew: children whose parents refuse to have them vaccinated are more likely to get and spread pertussis. Some people are likely to say so what. Is pertussis really that common or serious? The answer to both those questions is yes.

ellard71's picture

This isn't yet posted on the California Department of Public Health website, but officials just alerted reporters that a Contra Costa County child has died from swine flu. Here's information from the release. ReportingonHealth also has a helpful guide to covering the current swine flu outbreak.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

When choosing doctors, people like to know the answers to a few basic questions.

"Do they have the right amount of experience?"

"Are they conveniently located?"

"Do they accept my insurance?"

Somewhere above, "Do they stock Popular Mechanics in the lobby?" and below "Did they go to medical school?" might be these questions:

"Do they abuse drugs?"

"Are they honest?"

William Heisel's picture

The first seminar of the California Broadcast Fellowship this weekend elicited debate on many health-related topics. But the future of news -- how multimedia and Twitter alongside shrinking newsroom budgets are changing what it means to be a journalist -- created some of the most robust conversations.

Here are remarks from a few of the fellows to get an online conversation going -- you can add to the discussion by commenting here or by participating in the Reporting on Health forums.

Angilee Shah's picture

Two new swine flu developments today remind us that this pandemic is still very much with us, despite its near-absence lately in the mainstream media. Reuters reports that H1N1 cases have been confirmed in all 50 states and that more than 10,000 people have been infected with the virus (you can check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's official state-by-state count here).

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

Don't you want to help this woman out?

Renata Celona lost both of her parents at a young age, victims of high blood pressure, the second leading preventable cause of death.

She checks her blood pressure at least once a day, avoids salt and tries to squeeze in trips to the gym between working two jobs and raising three kids on her own.

"I tell my kids that I am always going to be there for them," Celona, 47, says. "Even if I can't always pick them up from school, they know I will be tucking them into bed at night."

William Heisel's picture

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