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Health Matters Webinar Series

Upcoming

July 08, 2020

All 50 states are reopening their economies in phases after an unprecedented lockdown and economic plunge not seen since the Great Depression. Officials have had to weigh the damage to workers and families from the ongoing shutdowns against the risks posed by the potentially deadly virus. Yet as more and more Americans head back to work and play, people are relaxing their vigilance and confirmed COVID-19 infections are soaring past April records. New outbreaks in states such as Arizona and Texas are pushing hospitals to their limit, long before the feared “second wave.” In this webinar, we’ll look at where we stand in the reopening, what policies and practices might reduce health risks, and how journalists can tell urgent stories of workers and families forced to choose between their health and their economic survival.

Previous Webinars

June 24, 2020

Nursing home and long-term care facilities have been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with an estimated 40% of U.S. deaths tied to these facilities. The dangers facing residents at these homes have been compounded by inadequate testing and protective equipment, coupled with massive staffing turnover and shortages. A quarter of nursing homes didn’t have enough direct-care staff in late May, according to a Reuters analysis, and 70% didn’t meet the levels called for by experts. In this webinar, we’ll look at strategies for reporting on these grave shortcomings and how they have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. We’ll also learn how to use a ProPublica database of 80,000 nursing home inspection reports detailing fines and infection-control lapses to pinpoint urgent stories about some of your community’s most vulnerable residents.

June 17, 2020

It’s been called a parent’s worst nightmare. An alarming new inflammatory condition connected to COVID-19 has struck a small but growing number of children across the country. The mysterious condition known as “pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome” is marked by widespread inflammation throughout the body, and can trigger potentially life-threatening heart problems. While most children have tested positive for coronavirus or antibodies, doctors are still racing to untangle the links to COVID-19. In this webinar, we’ll hear from a top pediatric infectious disease expert and a Pulitzer-winning health and science reporter about how this mysterious illness impacts children and how reporters can add depth and context to this unnerving story for their audiences and communities as the pandemic continues to unfold.

June 10, 2020

Journalists have been arrested, shot with rubber bullets, and sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray as protests have engulfed the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police. During a time when COVID-19 has already left the reporting ranks battling exhaustion and vicarious trauma, covering these protests and police clashes can exact a steep toll on journalists’ mental health. That’s especially true for black journalists and other journalists of colorwho are covering systemic racism against their own communities and who face unique risks as members of the media and because of their race. In this webinar, we’ll take a deeper look at those physical and mental health risks, identify coping strategies, and offer practical tips and suggestions on staying safe.

June 03, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in soaring levels of child hunger and food insecurity in families across the nation, along with other unmet needs. The lives of already economically precarious families have been upended during the pandemic, with school cafeterias shuttered, unemployment shattering records and food bank lines stretching for miles. Meanwhile, food prices jumped in April more than they have since 1974. Struggling parents report not having enough money to buy diapers and other basic needs. In this webinar, we’ll learn what this deepening crisis means for child development and family well-being, and explore fresh angles for deeper reporting on hunger, food insecurity and other unmet needs.

May 27, 2020

While stay-at-home orders have helped flattened the COVID-19 curve, they present grave new dangers for victims of domestic violence who suddenly find themselves locked down with their abusers. And the pandemic has made it harder than ever for domestic violence organizations to help victims, a challenge compounded by losses in funding and reduced shelter capacity. In this webinar, will look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a terrifying new reality for domestic violent victims, how organizations and authorities are trying to innovate in response, and how reporters can tackle the story in their community.

May 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone — but not equally. Black, Latino and Native American communities in particular have suffered higher rates of infection and deaths, laying bare deep inequities in the American health care system and the social factors underlying health. Low-income communities rely heavily on safety net health centers and clinics for care, and at the same moment many of these providers are facing curtailed services or closures due to lost revenues during COVID-19. In this webinar, we’ll seek a deeper understanding on why minority and low-income communities are facing worse outcomes, and explore related data tips and strategies.

May 13, 2020

Testing for COVID-19 has been described as essential for easing restrictions and reopening the country. But experts widely agree that the U.S. has nowhere near the number of test kits and lab capacity we need. Meanwhile, huge questions remain about the reliability of antibody tests that have flooded the market with no FDA oversight. Such serology tests, designed to see if someone has been previously infected, have been plagued by false readings and scant supply. Further, it remains scientifically unclear what degree of immunity the presence of COVID-19 antibodies confer. In this webinar, we’ll hear from a leading infectious disease expert and top reporter on whether or not we can test our way out of this crisis.

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.

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Announcements

The Center for Health Journalism is dedicated to supporting journalists covering two of the biggest stories of our time -- the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism and inequities in America. We provide reporters with intensive training instituteswebinars and tips about craft and content and are providing deep and sustained support for reporters and their newsrooms in this historic and difficult moment. You can donate through the USC web portal at this link: https://bit.ly/3c8d4xs  Pressed for time? You can also text to donate! No amount is too small; just send a text to 41-444 and type the message CHJ for further instructions.

 

In this webinar, we'll look at how journalists can tell urgent stories as states reopen and workers are potentially forced to choose between their health and their economic survival. Sign-up here!

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