Tag Archives: lead

Georgia writer offers tips on covering location, health and poverty

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Spider via photopin (license)Georgia-based freelancer Carolyn Crist has written about health and travel. Her interests intersect in this tip sheet (ADD URL) on the impact of geography, and its link to poverty, on health.

Photo: Spider via photopin (license)Georgia-based freelancer Carolyn Crist has written about health and travel. Her interests intersect in this tip sheet on the impact of geography, and its link to poverty, on health.

Carolyn Crist knows a little something about place.

A freelance journalist based in Georgia, Crist specializes in health, science … and travel writing.

The graduate of University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication spent several years assisting UGA’s Travel Writing in Prague program, in addition to writing about the uninsured, obesity, aging and other health issues. Continue reading

Review of EPA data leads USA Today to towns with contaminated water

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Ryan Garza, USA Today NetworkLee Anne Walters of Flint, Mich., pours gallons of bottled water into a bucket and pan to warm up for her twin sons to take a weekly bath. Her son, Gavin, 4, looking on, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. The photograph ran as part of USA Today’s investigation into lead levels nationwide, beyond the crisis in the Detroit suburb.

Photo: Ryan Garza, USA Today NetworkLee Anne Walters of Flint, Mich., pours gallons of bottled water into a bucket and pan to warm up for her twin sons to take a weekly bath. Her son, Gavin, 4, looking on, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning. The photograph ran as part of USA Today’s investigation into lead levels nationwide, beyond the crisis in the Detroit suburb.

Yes, database websites can seem clunky, and government data can seem hopelessly riddled with errors.

But searching, downloading and analyzing it – specifically EPA records on drinking water – led USA Today to a blockbuster front-page story that not only drew attention to the threat of lead contamination beyond the crisis in Flint, Mich., but also stirred residents to action.

Mark Nichols, who shared the byline with Alison Young at the paper, was the force behind the number crunching. Continue reading

Water quality issues ripple beyond crisis in Flint

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: A Morning run... via photopin (license)U.S. cities beyond Flint, Michigan, are taking a closer look at their water quality as communities from Maine to California face challenges, tests.

Photo: A Morning run… via photopin (license)U.S. cities beyond Flint, Michigan, are taking a closer look at their water quality as communities from Maine to California face challenges, tests.

“The problem with lead is that it’s now really everywhere.”

That’s what David Rosner, author of “Lead Wars,” told NPR in a recent interview.

In the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, concerns over lead and water have expanded beyond the Detroit suburb. From Maine and Iowa to California and elsewhere, citizens, officials and news media are turning their attention to water quality issues. Continue reading

Calculating the multiple costs of Flint’s water crisis

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Bottle Heaven via photopin (license)

Photo: Bottle Heaven via photopin (license)As federal, state and local health officials work to resolve Flint’s water crisis, cost has become a central issue in addition to grappling with the long-term effects of lead contamination.

About $7.50 a gallon. That’s how much bottled water can cost when purchased in typical 17-ounce (500 milliliter) containers, according to Business Insider. On average, the publication reported, it costs $1.22 a gallon compared with about 4 cents per gallon for tap water.

In Flint, Mich., responding to the city’s ongoing water contamination crisis is showing the health divide in sharp relief – not just in health impacts, but also economic ones. Continue reading

Facts vs. opinions: Beware of false balance in your reporting

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

scalesIt is a journalist’s job to objectively and fairly represent the various perspectives on an issue, and it’s a journalist’s responsibility to report facts to represent an issue as accurately as possible.

What happens when these two ethical obligations appear to conflict? Ideally, the seasoned journalist takes a step back to assess how the facts influence the balance a story should receive. When this doesn’t happen, a story runs the risk of having false balance — something even stories relying on scientific evidence (sometimes especially stories relying on scientific evidence) can fall victim to. Continue reading

How the Flint water crisis has further exposed health disparities

Susan Heavey

About Susan Heavey

Susan Heavey, (@susanheavey) a Washington, D.C.-based journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on social determinants of health and curates related material at healthjournalism.org. She welcomes questions and suggestions on resources and tip sheets at determinants@healthjournalism.org.

A water crisis brewing in Flint, Mich., for nearly two years exposed children and others to lead from contaminated water. It also exposed health disparities from infrastructure. Glass of Water via photopin (license)

A water crisis brewing in Flint, Mich., for nearly two years exposed children and others to lead from contaminated water. It also exposed health disparities from infrastructure. Glass of Water via photopin (license)

The ongoing water quality crisis in Flint, Mich., highlights many public health issues, but shines its brightest light on health disparities, too.

Residents of the struggling community, about an hour northwest of Detroit, began complaining about problems with their tap water almost as soon as the city – under the control of a state manager – began pumping water from Flint River to fill the gap after switching providers in 2013.

It’s something that would have never happened in one of Detroit’s wealthier, leafy suburbs, according to Nancy Kaffer, a political columnist for the Detroit Free Press. Continue reading