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What happens when 20 health journalists walk in to a convenience store in downtown Los Angeles and ask about buying tetracycline without a prescription?

Angilee Shah's picture

Kelley Weiss, a health care reporter at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento, is one of this year's California Broadcast fellows. For her report, L.A. Takes On Prescription Drug Swaps, she reported on a thriving black market for prescription drugs from abroad and accompanied a team from the multi-department Health Authority Law Enforcement (HALT) Task Force to collect illegal pharmaceuticals.

Angilee Shah's picture

We all know it's important to put on UV protection before heading outdoors, but the chemicals in your sun block could be doing your skin more harm than good.

Bianca Alexander's picture

According to a Pew Internet and American Life social networking survey, 35% of online adults had profiles on social networking sites in 2008, compared to 8% in 2005. Online social networking is still a "phenomenon of the young" for how ubiquitous Facebook and MySpace is among 18 to 24 year-olds, but 35% of adults overall have profiles on networking sites. African-American and Hispanic adults are more likely to have profiles than whites adults.

Angilee Shah's picture

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

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Our California Fellowship supports reporters in the Golden State pursuing ambitious projects on overlooked health and health equity issues.

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