Contest Entries

Dealing with diabetes

Entrants: Pauline Bartolone, Catherine Stifter, Joe Barr

Affiliation: Capital Public Radio

Public Health

Year: 2011

Place: First Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Judges’ comments: This piece, it was immediately clear to the judges, was a standout. It's an unbelievably important issue and will affect a huge proportion of the U.S. population. It looks at a variety of communities and really makes human how hard it is to understand and cope with diabetes. It goes straight to the underlying problems and the costs. It is very well done. The radio medium is exploited to best effect, with numerous interviews; the writing and narrative is lively and engaging.

Provide names of other  journalists involved.

Alan Ray, Paul Conley, Pamela Wu and Andrew Nixon

List date(s) this work was published or aired.

Nov. 18, 2011

See this entry.

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

It's estimated that about 25 million adults in the U.S. have diabetes, a disease that's preventable in most cases. Diabetes is hitting hardest in communities of color, where access to health care and health choices can be limited by income, education and geography.This 54-minute radio broadcast and associated multimedia web page examines how three ethnic communities in California are dealing with diabetes and how culturally-based approaches to health care are lengthening and saving lives.

Explain types of documents, data or Internet resources used. Were FOI or public records act requests required? How did this affect the work?

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2011 Diabetes Fact Sheet
  • National Institutes of Health's National Diabetes Education Program
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's "Diabetes Disparities Among Racial and Ethnic Minorities Fact Sheet"
  • Diabetes Knowledge
  • Beliefs, and Treatments in the Hmong Population: An Exploratory Study by Miguel A. Perez, Ph.D., CHES and Koua Cha, California State University, Fresno
  • Hmong Studies Journal
  • Indian Health Service
  • National Patient Information Reporting System
  • UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
  • California Endowment

Explain types of human sources used.

  • Persons with Type 2 diabetes
  • A nationally recognized MD who is an expert on diabetes as it relates to ethnic communities
  • A registered dietician
  • Vocational nurse and community health representative
  • Head of research and grantwriting for Hmong Community Center (specializes in diabetes awareness)
  • Associate professor of nursing

Results (if any).

We received numerous positive comments following the broadcast of "Dealing with Diabetes." This is among the comments that were posted on our website: "Absolutely excellent piece. I posted it into my D2L accounts for all of my nutrition sections at Sacramento City College. Dr. John Polagruto"

Follow-up (if any). Have you run a correction or clarification on the report or has anyone come forward to challenge its accuracy? If so, please explain.

We have run several shorter feature stories related to diabetes policy, pivoting off information and contacts from the documentary.

Advice to other journalists planning a similar story or project.

Be aware that there is a very large distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. That's because Type 2 is largely preventative and is often the result of poor lifestyle choices. As a result when you interview sources, be clear which type of diabetes you’re talking about ... don't lump it all into one category.