Every so often, reporters have the luxury of stepping back from the routine of our daily beats and consider ways of doing work that is more ambitious, wider-reaching — to learn about what we’re not covering, but should be, or, maybe, a fresh take on an issue we’ve been following closely.
For me, that’s happening this week. Photographer Alison Yin and I are teaming up on a project for the Oakland Tribune about childhood asthma and air quality. We’ll be at USC for the next few days with other journalists whose work is being supported by a National Health Journalism Fellowship.
The project, which the Tribune is also supporting, will explore the rising asthma rates among kids in the U.S. and its strong grip on parts of the Bay Area, particularly among African-American children. We want to look at the role of air quality (indoor and outdoor) and, in general, what’s known about the causes of the disease. As we continue to brainstorm ideas, we’re open to yours. If there are angles you think we should pursue, or people we should talk to, email me! I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow, we visit the Port of Long Beach, which is especially relevant to our story. I’ll be tweeting occasionally from the sessions, which began last night, if you’re interested or want to add your thoughts. I’m at Twitter.com/katymurphy (or @katymurphy), and we’re all using the hashtag #nhjf12.
I look forward to hearing your ideas!