Friday, May 05, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgames

I'm a sucker for stories about baseball, heroes and fathers and sons. This story by Don Teague of NBC Nightly News has it all. It shows the journey of a man with Lou Gehrig's disease who is living his dream while he can.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sick System

Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber of the Los Angeles Times have come up with a couple of excellent stories this week investigating troubles in northern California with HMO giant Kaiser Permanente. In yesterday's story, Weber and Ornstein detail how Kaiser forced 1,500 patients awaiting kidney transplants to transfer to a new, untested transplant center run by Kaiser itself rather than use successful established programs. As a result, patients ended up on one of the longest waiting lists in the country and their odds of getting a new kidney dropped. Today's story shows how the snafus with the start-up of Kaiser's new transplant program resulted in 25 patients not getting a chance to receive nearly perfectly matched new kidneys.
Ornstein and Weber used statistical analyses, confidential documents and dozens of interviews to report these stories of a big company endangering the lives of ill people.,0,7877009.story?track=tottext,0,335770.story?page=1&track=tottext

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Failing our Tots

Kathleen Carroll and Jean Rimbach of The Record in New Jersey followed the money trail to reveal how rampant corruption is harming low-income preschool children. "Lessons in Waste" describes how the owners of New Jersey preschools that get public money to help poor children have siphoned millions of dollars to pay for Caribbean time shares, luxury cars, fancy meals and wedding gifts while teachers quit because their paychecks bounce and they don't get health insurance. This four-part series works well because of its memorable examples of waste and fraud that the state is failing to fix. Thanks to News Gems reader Brian Summers for the tip.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sole Man

Big business in the basketball world not only surrounds NBA and college players these days; the push for lucrative endorsement deals has seeped down to the high school level. In "Got to be the Shoes," Dustin Dow of the Cincinnati Enquirer describes the frenzy around what shoes high school superstar O.J. Mayo wears. Reebok, Nike and Adidas compete furiously to have high school players wear their shoes and eventually ink multi-million-dollar endorsement contracts once they turn pro. Dow shows how the shoe choices that Mayo and other prep phenoms make can determine their opponents, schedules and even uniform colors. This is a nice example of enterprise reporting in the sports world.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fields of Dreams

Norm Heikens and J.K. Wall of the Indianapolis Star capture the emotions and the economics of the age-old clash between rural and city life in their Sunday story "Green Acres." Wall and Heikens trace the agonizing decisions farmers such as David Doles near Greensburg, Indiana, must make whether to sell their beloved family land to make room for a factory. This is a nice example of how to humanize a business story. It's full of dollars and trends, but mostly it's about people trying to decide what matters most to them in life. The accompanying video by Mike Fender is also worth a look.
Site Meter