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“I think one of the things that’s changing is the desire to let people see themselves in the data,” ProPublica's Charlie Ornstein told fellow journalists at the 2017 California Data Fellowship on Saturday.
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“What you’re hearing is that the pain killer problem has turned into a heroin problem,” Dr. Andrew Kolodny said. “That makes for a good story, but that isn’t really what’s going on.”
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“It’s nuts in Washington right now,” said Noam Levey of The Los Angeles Times. So, how does a local reporter tackle this huge national health policy story?
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I experienced a crushing failure as an investigative reporter that I hope none of you ever have to experience. But I learned some important lessons along the way, including the need to focus my questions, narrow the scope, and embrace imperfect data.

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The Los Angeles Times took an impressive deep dive into the problems plaguing California’s foster care system, detailing the extent to which perverse incentives and a lack of monitoring among private agencies overseeing foster homes has led to disturbing patterns of child abuse.

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In January, California will shore up promises it made when launching its innovative prescription drug-tracking program with more funding and a better ability to find patients who doctor shop or physicians who prescribe an abnormal amount of opiates.

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Commercially produced US meat contains many controversial ingredients. The chemicals, hormones and additives stem from Big Meat's desire to grow animals faster, squeeze them into smaller living spaces and keep products on store shelves longer.

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Perhaps every journalist dreams of writing a story that changes the world. Fewer dream of writing the story that changes themselves. But it’s that latter story that found Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, who shared his experience with the 2013 National Health Journalism Fellows.

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Nationwide, about four percent of grandchildren are in the care of their grandparents, a figure that jumps upwards of seven percent in states such as Louisiana and Mississippi.

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Most of the people who contract valley fever live in California or in Arizona. But concerns about the disease are starting to spread -- with journalists reporting on it from other parts of the country.

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