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Health Matters Webinar Series

Previous Webinars

May 06, 2020

We have been grappling with the coronavirus pandemic for months now, yet neither COVID-19 nor our coverage of it is anywhere close to being over. How can we continue to report on this story in novel ways that inform our communities, while steering clear of sensationalism? In this webinar, Kaiser Health News data editor Liz Lucas will serve as our guide through the changing landscape of data on COVID-19. We'll look specifically at data sources that can aid informed, in-depth reporting on the overall trend of the pandemic, the infrastructure needed to survive it, and the people most vulnerable to it. We’ll talk about what data exists nationally, and what data you should pursue locally. 

April 29, 2020

The communities journalists serve are desperate for news and information as the defining story of our times remakes the world before us. But how do journalists focus their energy and figure out which stories they might be overlooking and what information people need most right now? Community engagement provides a powerful framework for listening to communities, and few outlets have been as nimble and innovative as Southern California Public Radio. Under community engagement director Ashley Alvarado, the staff has received more than 1,800 COVID-19 questions so far — and responded to 1,500 of them personally. In this webinar, Alvarado will share ideas on how outlets of all sizes can better serve the needs of their audiences with innovative methods for listening and generating story ideas.

April 22, 2020

With many reporters are working from home, finding sources and connecting with your community while covering COVID-19 can be more challenging than ever. This hour-long webinar will focus on helping reporters find health sources and affected people online, through social platforms and digital communities, with an emphasis on hard-to-reach and marginalized communities. Led by Amara Aguilar, a USC Annenberg Journalism School expert on digital journalism, this webinar will also delve into verification and practical engagement tools you can use while social distancing. This session will provide live, hands-on experience with at least three tools and provide more resources for health reporters working remotely.

April 15, 2020

As health systems across the country brace for a surge of COVID-19 patients, some hospitals have already been forced to make unprecedented decisions about who gets care and whether patients on the brink of death should be resuscitated. The heated debate is fueled by shortages of protective equipment and ventilators and the high risks faced by health care providers on the frontlines. In this webinar, we’ll discuss what questions journalists should ask providers and health systems to gauge their plans and preparedness and to understand the hard calls they are making on rationing care. Palliative care specialist and author Dr. Sunita Puri will join the Center for Health Journalism for a moderated discussion.

April 08, 2020

It’s already been called the story of our lifetime, and it’s moving with a speed and ferocity that makes it exceedingly hard for reporters to cover. Yet audiences everywhere are desperate for updates and accurate information on COVID-19 amid a growing backdrop of fear and uncertainty. How do you best focus your reporting energy in the midst of such a vast crisis? Lisa Krieger, science and medicine reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, has covered every angle of the spreading outbreak, from testing debacles to the most promising potential new treatments. In this webinar, Krieger will share how she stays on top of the story every day, and offer immediately actionable tips that will bolster your own coverage.

February 28, 2020

Every day brings a flurry of new coronavirus headlines and a growing number of cases around the globe. While China remains the epicenter of the outbreak, experts warn of a possible global pandemic that could wreak havoc on health systems and vulnerable populations. There have been only a dozen cases to date in the U.S. and experts say the current risk to Americans is low. But that could quickly change if measures to curb the virus fail. In this webinar, you will hear the latest updates from top experts and a leading journalist tracking the story, providing crucial context and insights for reporting responsibly on this fast-moving public health threat.

February 19, 2020

Health care is among the most crucial issues for voters heading into the 2020 election season. Soaring insurance deductibles and drug prices are crippling many families' budgets, premiums continue their steady upward march, and a legislative fix to the problem of surprise bills remains elusive. Meanwhile, a philosophical divide has riven the Democratic party: Fix the ACA and pursue incremental reforms or pursue a more dramatic overhaul of the health system? This webinar will bring together two top national health policy reporters and a veteran health policy expert to provide a timely overview of the leading candidates’ health care positions. 

December 19, 2019

Pity the poor senior who now has to sort through the wilderness of Medicare options. Traditional Medicare was already a maze, and the rise of Medicare Advantage plans adds yet another layer of complexity to seniors’ decision making. The difficult choices they make can have profound implications for their health and finances. It’s an area that begs for more quality journalism that can inform and educate American seniors on a critical health care decision. What’s at stake for seniors in your community as private companies increasingly administer Medicare? This webinar will help get you started covering an essential story about a program that covers 60 million Americans across the country.

November 26, 2019

With the impeachment inquiry dominating headlines for the foreseeable future, it may seem like an unlikely moment for a major legislative push to lower drug prices in Congress. But calls for relief garner broad public support, and both the House and Senate have spent months advancing their respective plans. Do they have a shot? Meanwhile, dozens of states have passed laws that aim to make drug prices more transparent. Can such state-level moves compensate for federal inaction if the Pelosi and Grassley-Wyden plans stall out in the House? This webinar will give an overview of the proposals and weigh in on the future of the battle to curb soaring drug prices.  

October 10, 2019

A green wave is sweeping the nation, with Illinois soon to become the 11th state to fully legalize marijuana. More than three times as many states now allow medical marijuana. Yet big questions remain about the potential health benefits and risks of cannabis products, with little research available to guide doctors and policymakers. While nearly all Democratic presidential candidates have embraced legalization, the drug remains a controlled substance under federal law, creating a looming conflict between the patchwork of state laws and the federal government. While a few outlets have pioneered standout coverage of these complex issues, huge reporting gaps remain. That means there are countless stories to be told at the national, state and local level about the health benefits and risks as well as the policy challenges posed by the booming cannabis industry. This webinar will offer crucial context, insights and storylines to get you started.

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The pandemic is far from over but crucial COVID-19 protections and benefits are gone. In our next webinar, we'll explore the end of renter protections, unemployment benefits and other emergency relief, and what it means for the nation’s pandemic recovery and the health and well-being of low-income people and their communities. Glean story ideas and crucial context. Sign-up here!

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?  Apply now for one of our positions. 

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