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Topic: Finding sources

The possibilities and perils of AI in the health insurance industry: An explainer and research roundup

"As artificial intelligence infiltrates virtually every aspect of life, more states in the U.S. are seeking to regulate (or at least monitor) its use. Many are passing legislation, issuing policy rules or forming committees to inform those decisions. In some cases, that includes health insurance, where AI holds great promise to speed and improve administration but also brings potential for peril, including racial bias and omissions inherent in formulas used to determine coverage approvals. "We’ve created this guide to help journalists understand the nascent regulatory landscape, including proposed state laws; which regulators are compiling and issuing guidelines; and what researchers have learned so far."

Media briefing: Social media & teen health


"An estimated 95% of teens use social media and, in a recent survey, nearly 1 in 5 teens reported being on social media platforms 'almost constantly.' SciLine’s media briefing covered how social media affects the physical and mental health of young people, including discussions about: social media usage patterns and drivers among different demographic groups; connections to mental health, including both benefits and harms; impacts on physical health via changes to sleep and eating behavior; and what parents and guardians can do to support young people’s safe and healthy social media use. Three scientists made brief presentations and then took questions on the record."
Resource Database / Guide

Tip sheet: Tapping wastewater surveillance — the next big source of public health data — in your reporting

This tip sheet shares resources and reporting tips from a lightning talk that Betsy Ladyzhets gave at the 2024 Association of Health Care Journalists conference. Ladyzhets discussed where to find wastewater surveillance data, how to interpret it, and types of stories you can do based on wastewater surveillance data, whether you're covering COVID-19 or another health threat.

Press briefing: War and climate change

Covering Climate Now

"War and climate change are intertwined in ways that journalists need to understand. Violent conflicts in Gaza, Ukraine, and elsewhere are not only causing terrible human suffering, they are fueling the climate crisis." This press briefing from Covering Climate Now discusses the carbon footprints of military operations, how extreme weather can "kindle armed conflict," and how to talk about the climate crisis when war is ongoing. Panelists include Neta C. Crawford from the University of Oxford, Rawan Damen from Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, and Ellie Kinney, from the Conflict and Environment Observatory.

Why journalists should stop overlooking tuberculosis coverage

Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)

"March 24 was World TB Day, which every year commemorates the anniversary of when scientist Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that causes TB in 1882. Late March is therefore an ideal time to take stock of what progress has been made in fighting TB, which, until COVID-19, was the world’s deadliest infectious disease. This post includes an overview of that progress as well as resources and story ideas for reporting on TB."
Resource Database / Guide

CDC Museum COVID-19 Timeline

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Smithsonian Institution

This timeline, compiled by researchers at the CDC Museum and Smithsonian Institution, provides a recap of important moments in the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. and around the world. It starts in December 2019 and extends through 2022. Items on the timeline include important research, government actions to contain the virus' spread, case and death milestones, and more.

Abortion pill mifepristone: An explainer and research roundup about its history, safety and future

"Amid pending court cases and ballot initiatives, journalistic coverage of medication abortion has never been more crucial. This piece aims to help inform the narrative with scientific evidence." The article includes an explanation and history of medication abortion research and data on access to these medications, and recommendations of sources who may discuss this topic.

Your Local Epidemiologist

Katelyn Jetelina is an epidemiologist, public health researcher, and science communicator. Her newsletter started early in the pandemic as a way to deliver COVID-19 updates, and has since expanded to other topics such as other infectious diseases, reproductive health, and gun violence. She writes, "My main goal is to “translate” the ever-evolving public health science so that people will be well-equipped to make evidence-based decisions."

Covering long COVID, the hidden epidemic

Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ)

"Up to one in seven people in the U.S. have had long COVID, according to one of the most recent estimates. But it’s still getting relatively little coverage, not nearly capturing the scale of this debilitating condition for which no approved treatments exist. In this webinar, we heard from a rehabilitation physician who specializes in treating people with long COVID and a journalist who has been living with the condition. Watch the recording to learn what you need to know about long COVID, best practices in covering it and the importance of speaking with people who are dealing with it." A transcript of the webinar is also available.

Media briefing: Renewable energy and the grid


"Americans are increasingly making the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, with solar and wind leading the charge. SciLine’s media briefing summarized progress towards U.S. renewable energy goals and addressed hurdles that remain for communities—including technical and economic challenges that local governments and utilities must overcome to integrate new solar and wind sources into the grid, and ways that everyday life may change for individuals in a renewable future. Three panelists made short presentations and then took questions on the record." A transcript of the briefing is also available.

EMTALA and abortions: An explainer and research roundup

"Under a federal law, hospital emergency departments must provide appropriate emergency medical treatment to any patients who need it. But now the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case that questions the law's precedence over state-level abortion bans." This article explains what journalists should know about the law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA. It includes links to research papers and suggestions for finding expert sources on this topic.
Resource Database / Guide

Tipsheet: Covering long COVID

This tipsheet shares tips and resources from a session at NICAR, the data journalism conference, about covering Long COVID informed by data, records, and patient experiences. The summary of the session reads: "Long COVID is a public health crisis: Millions of Americans have been impacted by this debilitating condition, many of them facing lost work, hard-to-access medical care and other challenges. This session will introduce you to the basics of covering Long COVID from a data/investigative perspective, including recommendations for datasources, records requests and patient interviews."
Resource Database / Guide

Tipsheet: Pursuing investigative stories as a science writer

This tipsheet, from a session at the ScienceWriters 2023 meeting, shares tips and resources for pursuing investigative stories on science topics. The session featured several esteemed investigative reporters talking about how they produced notable stories. The panelists discussed finding story ideas, filing public records requests, working with scientific research, considering libel risk, and more.
Source database

Long COVID source list

This database shares information from people with long COVID and experts on the condition who are interested in talking to the media. It includes four categories of sources: 1. Patients who also identify as experts on long COVID and/or advocates for their fellow patients; 2. Patients who don’t identify as experts, but are willing to speak to the media about their own lived experience; 3. Other experts, including scientists, clinicians, and advocates with expertise in specific areas of Long COVID research, care, and related issues; 4. Related conditions and experiences, including patient-advocates with conditions similar to long COVID (ME/CFS, dysautonomia, etc.) and caregivers for long COVID patients.
Resource Database / Guide

Mental health journalism online resources

The Carter Center

This list of links — assembled by the Carter Center, which administers fellowships for mental health journalism — includes training opportunities, mental health organizations, government resources, resources by disorder, publications, and more.
Source database

Source database — 500 Queer Scientists

500 Queer Scientists

500 Queer Scientists is "a visibility campaign for LGBTQ+ people and their allies working in STEM and STEM-supporting jobs — a group that collectively represents a powerful force of scientific progress and discovery." The organization offers a source database for journalists, along with events and resources for LGBTQ+ scientists.
Source database

Science Writers Database

The Open Notebook

The Open Notebook has developed a free, public database of journalists, writers, editors, and other communicators who cover science and related fields. This database is intended "to help people within our community find one another and diversify their networks." Editors might use it to find freelancers for specific stories, conference organizers might use it to find panelists, and journalists might use it to find collaborators for new projects, among other potential connections.
Resource Database / Guide

Data Journalism Tools

Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT

"The ability to craft a story using raw data — which can be messy and difficult to parse — is a skill worth honing, especially for journalists who cover science. To help you get going, KSJ has provided a collection of resources and tools for finding, analyzing, and presenting data." Resource categories: Data Journalism 101, Training and Tutorials, Conferences, Databases, Data Journalism Toolkit, Further Reading.

Tree equity and trees’ impact on surface temperatures, human health: A research roundup

"The absence of trees is not just an aesthetic discrepancy -- it can impact human health and well-being, a growing body of research shows." This tip sheet from The Journalist's Resource describes findings from several studies on this topic, including key results, quotes from the studies, and authors who may be useful sources for reporters.
Resource Database / Guide

Finding diverse sources for science stories

The Open Notebook has compiled a number of resources and strategies that reporters can use to ensure their stories include more diverse voices, and are more accurate and complete as a result. "Strategies for finding diverse sources can include drawing on publicly available scientist databases, social media accounts and hashtags, affinity organizations in STEM, sources, colleagues, public information officers, expert-referral services, and online discussion groups. We also suggest ways for editors to support reporters’ efforts to include more diverse sources, including by creating a newsroom culture that welcomes collaborative discussion about diversity (in sourcing and other respects), by setting and tracking goals, and by encouraging and concretely supporting reporters’ sourcing efforts."
Resource Database / Guide

Diverse Databases: 100+ databases featuring talent from underrepresented groups

Editors of Color

"As we move toward a more equitable world, every industry is going to need new networks and resources to help them connect with talented people of color. In the spirit of this shared goal, Editors of Color is pleased to provide links to other databases of diverse talent." The list includes diverse sources in science, health, tech, political science, and much more.
Source database

Disabled Writers database

Disabled Writers

"Our goal is to promote paid opportunities for multiply marginalized members of the disability community, and to encourage editors and journalists to think of disabled people for stories that stretch beyond disability issues. This resource is specifically designed to help editors connect with disabled people working in journalism, or trying to break into the field. It also includes disabled experts who are available to serve as sources, such as attorneys, physicians, social workers, artists, and others with professional experience or education that makes them expert sources in their fields."
Source database

Diverse Sources: Science, health, and environment experts available on deadline

"Diverse Sources is a searchable database of underrepresented experts in the areas of science, health and the environment. Anyone who considers themselves underrepresented and is willing to respond to journalists on deadline is encouraged to join (including but not limited to ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, language, mental health experience, nationality, physical abilities, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, etc.)."
Source database

NPR Diverse Sources Database

National Public Radio (NPR)

"The Diverse Sources Database is NPR’s resource for journalists who believe in the value of diversity and share our goal to make public radio look and sound like America. Originally called Source of the Week, the database launched in 2013 as a way help journalists at NPR and member stations expand the racial/ethnic diversity of the experts they tap for stories." This database is maintained by the NPR Training team, who note that checking LinkedIn and/or Twitter for a source's current affiliation may be helpful before reaching out.

How extreme heat affects human health: A research roundup

This tip sheet from The Journalist's Resource focuses on who's at most risk from the effects of climate change. "Studies show that extreme heat can affect most people, particularly vulnerable populations like children, older adults and outdoors workers. We round up recent studies that shed light on how warming temperatures due to climate change are affecting various populations."