The state of Florida last week settled a lawsuit with the Orlando Sentinel, agreeing to provide weekly COVID-19 reports within two days and pay the newspaper’s legal costs.
It was a victory for the newspaper, and for press freedom. Our experience contains lessons – and encouragement – for other newsrooms facing obstruction by state or local officials.
Before filing suit, we persistently sought the documents for weeks, through informal and formal channels. We repeatedly told our readers about our efforts and the state’s decision to withhold information, keeping the issue alive in the public’s eye. Continue reading
We don’t yet know the severity of COVID-19’s long-term effects on the brain, but a group of international researchers is aiming to find out.
The Alzheimer’s Association and scientists in 30 countries are forming an international consortium to track and assess COVID-19 patients. According to a paper announcing the study, scientists will look for any lasting effects on the central nervous system which may lead to late-life cognitive decline, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. The World Health Organization is providing technical help. Continue reading
Given all the concern about the failure of rural hospitals, it may seem counterintuitive that some hospitals in rural America may need to close. In multipart series for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigative news reporter Yamil Berard found last year that some rural hospitals in Georgia had serious deficiencies.
Those deficiencies included significantly low occupancy rates, stiff competition from other hospitals, dwindling populations in their service areas, poor management and faulty decision-making, she reported. Continue reading
Reporting feature stories about COVID-19 and its impact on Americans is more critical and more challenging than ever.
These stories usually would involve dozens of hours of in-person interviews; something journalists won’t be able to do for many months to come. What kinds of stories should we tell in our communities and how can we report them?
Jessica Contrera, a writer for the local enterprise team at The Washington Post, has some ideas for journalists, including tips on reporting from a distance, getting people to open up and tell their stories in detail and interesting angles to explore.
What a year it’s been for health care journalism to shine.
On Jan. 5, 2020, the World Health Organization issued a press release announcing a pneumonia of “unknown-cause” was circulating in Wuhan, China. By mid-January, Chinese scientists identified the cause as a coronavirus, eventually dubbed SARS-CoV-2, and publicly shared the virus’s genetic sequence. The disease caused by the virus was named COVID-19. Continue reading
Private equity firms are in the business of making money. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that. However, a disturbing story in The Washington Post alleges that when private equity is involved in the buying and selling of nursing homes, things are often worse than they seem.
The story, by reporters Rebecca Tan and Rachel Chason, looks at Portopiccolo Group, which has a history of buying one- and two-star rated facilities. Continue reading