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Finding real people can be one of the hardest parts of journalism, but it is also usually one of the most rewarding and moving. So don't give up. Keep reaching out, and eventually someone will reach back.

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Insurers are cooperating to fight fraud, three cured of HIV, more early elective births, a cheap way to test for food pathogens and more from our Daily Briefing.

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Living for decades on boats, Sausalito's anchor-outs face daily perils, ongoing health challenges and stepped-up police scrutiny.

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Science and medicine blogger Orac weighs in on the new pandemic movie "Contagion," and alternative medicine bloggers in both movie and real life don't fare too well.

Picture of William Heisel

Health reporters got an unusual amount of mileage out of a study that said that its chief finding was “of unknown clinical significance.” And when these same reporters put on their blogging hats, they went off-road entirely.

Picture of Micky Duxbury

Almost 50 years ago, a notorious church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. killed two of Fania Davis's closest friends—and launched Davis, then a teenager, into a lifetime of social justice work. Today, the well-known Oakland resident directs Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), an innovative organization that aims to turn teenagers accused of crimes or troublemaking into responsible citizens.

Picture of Alison Knezevich

Prescription drug abuse is growing nationwide, but West Virginia was one of the first places hit by the problem. When I picked this topic, I didn't realize how complex it was. The drugs are widely available. Doctors are struggling to treat pain with effective medications without supplying drug abusers. And prescription drug crimes have proven difficult to prosecute.

This is the second in a four-part series examining prescription drug abuse in West Virginia.

 

Picture of R. Jan Gurley

If you are sent to live on the streets, it is for most people the same as being sent, without a mouth guard or helmet, into a boxing ring. A ring where the gong never sounds and there's no rope to mark the place where someone could take a swing and blow out your eye socket.

Doesn't matte

Picture of Roseann Langlois

Reporter's note:

One year ago from yesterday, 11-year-old Chandler Nash Elliott hung himself while his father was at work. We received a press release about the suicide over the fax. Like most news agencies, we do not report on suicides unless they are in a public place or the deceased is a public figure.

I told my colleagues -- and we all agreed -- that this would not make the news unless the family approached us, wanting to tell the boy's story.

The next morning, that's exactly what happened.

Picture of Sharon Salyer

Pairing English-language and ethnic media to report stories can be rewarding and result in great journalism — but it poses its own challenges. Sharon Salyer and Alejandro Dominguez share what they learned from each other in reporting an award-winning series on Hispanic mental health.

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The deadline is Friday, December 14, to apply for the 2019 California Fellowship, which provides $1,000 reporting grants and six months of expert mentoring to 20 journalists, community engagement grants of up to $2,000, specialized mentoring, to five.  

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