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Finding people who are willing to talk about their STDs publicly can be a tall order for journalists. But these ideas and tips will help you tackle the reporting challenge — and remind you why you should.
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California health officials are noticing a big jump in babies born with congenital syphilis and the Central Valley is at the top of the list. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports, state and county health leaders met in Fresno Wednesday to discuss the alarming trend.

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I wouldn’t blame you if you thought the only thing that happened in the health sphere this year was the implosion of Healthcare.gov. There was some excellent reporting on the problems with the Affordable Care Act, but here are some stories you might have missed.

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A blockbuster drug's approval revoked, rising STD rates, and a politician's surprising views on asthma, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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Bioethicist and writer Carl Elliott used many documents to piece together the story of how a research team desperate for patients helped create a pipeline for clinical trial participants by setting up a psychiatric ward. Here's how he did it.

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This piece focused on Los Angeles’ ethnic communities: How they are key to increasing organ donations and, on the other side, how they benefit from these life-saving procedures. I wanted to establish a human connection right away — to show how a donated organ can help an individual who is very ill, almost to the point of dying. Through my reporting, I’ve also learned that donation helps the donor family by providing consolation for the loss. As a number of donor families have told me: “My loved one lives on, helping another person to stay alive.” With the help of OneLegacy, the organ donation agency for the L.A. area, I made contact with a donor’s parents and the recipient of a donated kidney that brought him back to health. That gave me my lead. Then, I described how OneLegacy is working to raise awareness about organ donation in the area’s three primary ethnic communities: Latino, Asian and African American. Together, these groups make up more than 60% of the population served by OneLegacy in Southern California. With the help of OPTN media specialists, I determined that these groups also make up about the same proportion of organ donors and organ recipients. The piece was posted on LA Beez, an online collaboration of ethnic media outlets. It was a pleasure to work with editor Jerry Sullivan and website specialist Kevin Chan.

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Here’s what we’re reading today:

ER Care: The New York Times’ Lizette Alvarez spends a week in a Brooklyn emergency room and comes back with a beautifully-written distillation of what she saw.  

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Here’s what we’re reading today:

Health Reform: California’s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a number of bills to move along health reform in the state, including the nation’s first state legislation to create health insurance exchanges. Check out the list of signed bills at Health Access’ blog.

Announcements

Got a great idea for a reporting project on the health of underserved communities in California or on the performance of the state's health and social safety nets?  We're offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000, plus six months of mentoring, to up to eight individual journalists, newsrooms or cross-newsroom collaboratives.  Deadline to apply:  September 20.

Interested in honing your data analysis and visualization skills and taking home a reporting grant of $2,000-$3,500? Dates: October 23-26. Deadline to apply: August 26. Click on the headline to learn more.

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