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A reporter gets a call from the hypothetical Council for Making Sick Kids Smile about an event being sponsored on an otherwise sleepy Sunday. The reporter heads out to the event, hoping for a quick local page filler, and comes back to the newsroom with a great-sounding story with quotes from a well-spoken university professor and a teary mom and a photo of a sick and smiling child holding balloons nuzzling with a baby koala bear.

What reporters in this situation rarely ask is: who founded this council and why?

William Heisel's picture

This post discusses Richard Kluger's magisterial history of the tobacco industry in America, Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, an the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's picture

This post talks about photographer David Handschuh's courageous response to being seriously injured during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's picture

This post describes the Dart Society reunion I attended last month. Named after eminent psychiatrist Dr. Frank Ochberg, he fellows supports journalists who cover issues of trauma and violence to help them both tells stories about those issues with sensitivity and compassion and to deal with the emotional consequences of doing that work.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's picture

We have a guest blogger today: Dan Lee, former Riverside Press-Enterprise reporter and current student at the Annenberg School for Communication, is working for the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships and ReportingonHealth.

By Daniel Lee

Reporters covering the health care reform debate have failed to adequately investigate the claims made by both Democratic and Republican leaders and could do more to focus on its local impacts, experts said Wednesday.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

This post discusses physician Eric Goosby's book about living with the HIV virus.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's picture

In the end, the dirty dentist didn't get away with it.

A Collier County Circuit Court judge last week sentenced David Rees Sperry to 10 years in prison for lewd and lascivious battery after Sperry attacked a 14-year-old boy at a beach near Naples, Florida, and forced the boy to perform oral sex on him.

William Heisel's picture

Hospital seismic safety, redux:

I know you're all busy reporting on swine flu and health reform, but California reporters should take a a new look at hospital seismic safety. This is a never-ending, sometimes boring, but really important health policy issue in California.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

This post discusses Jacob Levenson's book, The Secret Epidemic: The Story of AIDS and Black America.

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein's picture



Ace reporter Lisa Krieger of the San Jose Mercury will share how she stays on top of the story every day, and offer pro tips that will bolster your own coverage. Sign-up here!

In this webinar discussion, we’ll talk about what questions journalists should ask health systems to gauge their preparedness and understand their potential decisions on rationing care. Sign-up here!

Stuck reporting from home? This webinar will focus on helping reporters find health sources and affected people online, through social platforms and digital communities. Sign-up here!


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