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Articles by Trudy Lieberman | Email the Author

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The New York Times exposes surprise medical bills

The latest article in Elisabeth Rosenthal’s standout series may be the best installment yet

Elisabeth Rosenthal deserves a CJR laurel for her Sunday New York Times article, the latest installment in her “Paying... More

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Why were Massachusetts reporters slow to probe the health exchange meltdown?

Q&A with a Boston IT expert who pieced together the story in a 31,000-word ‘Autopsy Report’

As Massachusetts goes, so goes the nation--at least when it comes to healthcare. In 2009 and 2010, in the midst... More

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‘Mediscare’ claims persist. Does calling them ‘debunked’ suffice?

A humble suggestion for reporters covering a recycled Medicare campaign claim

Well, what do you know. Republicans are trying their luck yet again with campaign ads telling voters that the Dems... More

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New York Times story questions Obamacare’s nursing-home ratings

Facilities have learned to game the system, so five stars may not mean much

Katie Thomas' piece in Monday's New York Times undermined what has become a pillar of the standard nursing-home story of... More

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The cost battle between insurers and hospitals spills into the press

In Nebraska, public radio captures the plight of the patients caught in the middle

It's not often that a nice succinct story about hospital consolidation, high out-of-pocket costs, and limitations on patient choice comes... More

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Medicare fraud stories ignore larger issues of reform

The problem is well-established; what to do about it is not

This has been a summer for Medicare fraud stories. In the past week alone, there were stories from The Wall... More

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Why did one regulator order a health insurer to set its rates higher?

An unusual case in Oregon draws some good coverage, and deserves sustained attention

A little drama over insurance rates came to a head earlier this week in Oregon, with a result you might... More

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How do you catch a candidate and pin him down?

MinnPost asked Sen. Al Franken’s challenger nine times what he’d do about Medicare and Social Security. The exchange is illuminating for reporters and voters.

Eric Black, a political columnist for MinnPost, offered a great example recently of how to pin down (or, at least,... More

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The Boston Globe owned the health policy beat once. Where did that tenacity go?

The paper’s coverage of big health news in Massachusetts is now too often ho-hum

As goes Massachusetts; so goes the nation--at least when it comes to healthcare. In 2009 and 2010, in the midst... More

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Dangerous drug side effects will no longer be secret in Canada

Kudos to the Toronto Star for dogged investigations and pressure on a reluctant government agency

Last fall on a visit to Canada, I spotted a first-rate piece in the Toronto Star by Diana Zlomislic,... More

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The Associated Press factchecks a couple ‘Mediscare’ ads in Kentucky

As the midterm campaign gets underway, some familiar talking points come out again

Bravo to The Associated Press! As soon as dueling ads for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and his challenger in the... More

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Medicare isn’t doing its own ‘truth checking.’ Why?

Kudos to ProPublica for “Examining Medicare,” but there’s more to this story than the bad apples

In April, the Department of Health and Human Services released its great Medicare data dump unlocking a treasure chest of... More

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If it sounds ‘too good to be true…’

How Health News Florida flubbed the rate story last week and what all reporters can take away from it

Remember those seven tips I offered earlier this month for how to report on health insurance rate proposals? I have... More

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Six times Medicare caved

A pattern for reporters to dig in to

Reporters don't often cover the rule-making process that goes on at government agencies. If they do, they typically borrow from... More

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Investigating a $150 billion ‘black box’

CPI did stellar reporting on the Medicare Advantage “money grab,” despite agency stonewalling— here’s how others reporters can dig in

In a year-long investigation of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin, and Chris Zubak-Skees of... More

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Sticking with Washington’s ‘whistleblower judge flap’

Puget Sound Business Journal’s Valerie Bauman reported the heck out of a state insurance commission saga—and the broader issue of narrow networks

There are different ways to tell the story of what's happening with Washington's insurance exchange, a state marketplace called... More

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Michigan’s Medicaid program is going to be great, say Michigan, Medicaid officials

Those claims deserve a closer look

A good piece from Kaiser Health News and USA Today this week about Michigan’s Medicaid expansion plan offers some pointers... More

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What’s health insurance really going to cost?

That’s the big question reporters must tackle, even as this year’s game of spin the rates takes off

Let the game begin! The game of spin the rates, that is. It's a game that pulled the media in... More

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Why is the $1,000 pill cheaper in the UK?

And other questions reporters should continue to ask about healthcare costs here and across the pond

A few days ago FiercePharma, which bills itself as the "pharma industry's daily monitor," posed this intriguing question: "Why does... More

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Sorry, Congressman: Obamacare hasn’t made more people uninsured

A factcheck from Washington makes its way into the Kansas media

A little press tale that blew out of the Kansas plains a couple weeks ago shows the value that media... More

Stop using ‘Brooklyn’ to mean hipster neighborhoods - Elite-oriented outlets typically only cover the borough’s most affluent, Manhattan-adjacent neighborhoods

The Reporters Committee is about to start suing people to help journalists - Katie Townsend joins the organization as its first litigation director

How a Nebraska newspaper kicked off a major prison sentencing scandal - The Omaha World-Herald found that hundreds of inmates were being released early

On media freedom, United Nations plays by its own rules - Months of international crises raises the stakes for reporting on the UN, but investigative journalists remain without a right to information

Keep calm and write a headline worth reading - Ease up on the exaggerations because someday you may need those explosive adjectives when a truly big story lands


Female sportscasters are speaking up (NYT)

“[i]n the wake of the recent scandals, women have been driving the story, providing a perspective that their male counterparts simply cannot”

Adviser of high school paper that refused to use ‘Redskins’ suspended (Student Press Law Center)

“Amid a months-long battle with administrators for editorial control … the Playwickian’s faculty adviser was suspended for two days this week”

Apple’s ‘warrant canary’ disappears (GigaOm)

Apple included language in its first Transparency Report to say that it had not been subject to a Section 215 Patriot Act request. That language is now gone.

Trend Piece (New Yorker)

Buzzword, buzzword, buzzword. Isn’t the buzzword on your mind now? Perhaps it is on other people’s minds? Read on or you’ll be clueless, dated, and without any friends in the world. Buzzword again!

Bloggingheads

Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute

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The Business of Digital Journalism

A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

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Questions and exercises for journalism students.