Media future

Here's innovation in health journalism

“Sowing Hope,” a series in the Merced Sun-Star upstate about efforts to open a medical school at UC Merced, is the first published project of the Center for California Health Care Journalism. The project, led by USC Annenberg professor Michael Parks, has funding from the California Health Care Foundation to produce independent, quality journalism on health. The center collaborated with the small 20,000-circulation Merced paper to produce an in-depth reporting project in six weeks. “I thought it was a good piece of journalism accomplished at a reasonable cost. I thought it brought to the public a range of issues involved in establishing a medical school to solve a serious health care deficit," says Parks, the former editor of the Los Angeles Times and ex-director at USC Annenberg. Three other former LAT staffers — writer Deborah Schoch, editor Richard Kipling and photographer Anacleto Rapping — are involved and the center is hiring two more reporters, formerly of the Sacramento Bee and Orange County Register. More info

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