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In wake of Sandy Hook anniversary, a critical look at gun buyback programs

Two California gun buyback programs try crowdsourcing to fund their operations. Does getting firearms off the street in this manner really reduce gun violence?

Patients with life- threatening illness, high medical costs try crowd sourcing to meet expenses

So far, Mary Isham has met 50% of her $60,000 goal to pay for a cancer treatment she could only find in Europe, thanks to a website that helps people raise money for medical expenses.

SXSW Interactive: Long-Form Works on the Web

Slate and Atavist editors talk about the future of long-form journalism at SXSW. 

The Power of the Public Insight Network: A Do-It-Yourself Way to Crowdsource

How can mainstream media better cover communities, particularly those that don't often have a voice? Increasingly, public radio reporters are using the Public Insight Network, a mashup of Rolodex and crowdsourcing machine.

So you're on Twitter and Facebook? What next?

The Reynolds Center for Business Journalism offered three seminars on social media this week. I won't do another post on the virtues and anxieties and the basics of using social media. Instead, I’ll focus on using social media to be a better reporter.

A Bad Day for Meridia and "Pink Viagra"

Here’s what we’re reading today:

Health Reform: It’s official: a federal judge finally rules that the new health reform law is constitutional. The ruling was hailed as a victory for the Obama administration because it’s the first to dismiss a constitutional challenge on its merits rather than a technicality. The Washington Post’s N.C. Aizenman has the story.

Scientific Citizens: Using Cell Phones to Collect Data

Deborah Estrin is a computer science professor interested in the low-tech. To her, everyday technology -- as opposed to supercomputers and expensive gadgets -- are brilliant tools for data collection. The world's 5 billion cell phones -- and the cameras and GPS that are increasingly common components -- represent tremendous opportunities. Using "smart" mobile phones, researchers, community groups and journalists can design ways to capture information about people whose stories and health status are otherwise hard to capture.

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With the explosion of public health data online, more journalists than ever need analytical tools in their daily work. This webinar will teach newcomers how to use a spreadsheet to do simple data cleanup and analysis for journalism. The webinar will be led by Paul Overberg, former data editor of USA Today. More info here.

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Reporting on Underserved Communities



How can journalists and foundations collaborate to deepen and improve reporting on underserved communities? Our USC Annenberg School of Journalism program in collaboration with The California Endowment, the Wyncote Foundation and Media Impact Funders, convened 75 leaders from both fields.

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