Reporters’ Notebooks

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More LIFELINES Stories

Bridging the Gap: Social Workers Report Back

12/12/2014 by Aysha Khan

To create LIFELINES, JCCF sent 13 journalists across the country this fall, breaking down historical tension between the two fields to tell stories of those who work to improve the human condition. To help bridge that gap, social workers who were interviewed suggested journalists show patience, curiosity and respect for the field while reporting. “It

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Editor’s Notebook: Humanity Calling

11/25/2014 by Julie Drizin

Why a reporting project on social work? Why not? Some of my best friends are social workers. I’ve long been impressed with the work they do supporting children grieving the loss of parents, helping couples improve their marriages, connecting people with AIDS to a range of services. Social work doesn’t always work. Anything that depends on human beings will

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Reporter’s Notebook: Seeing the Best and the Worst

11/01/2014 by ,

...These feelings are familiar to journalists, who often witness the best and the worst of society in an attempt to explain, document and find solutions to the issues we all encounter. We learned that social workers and journalists benefit each other by sharing information and experience from the front lines. If nothing else, we hope

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Reporter’s Notebook: Paying it Forward

11/01/2014 by Cathleen Falsani

...You can tell a lot about the way people feel about their job by watching them interact first thing in the morning, before their first cup of coffee. I was taken aback by the authentic care and concern the staff members expressed for each other, and then was bowled over as I heard them individually

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Reporter’s Notebook: Beyond Borders & Language Barriers

11/01/2014 by Rebekah Zemansky

Important stories are all too easily missed because just finding people in jeopardy can be a challenge, let alone convincing them to go on record. In general, undocumented women at the shelter often feel especially vulnerable. They've lost a lot of control in their lives and face both long term legal risks and immediate physical

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Reporter’s Notebook: A Shared Experience

11/01/2014 by Solomon Jones

...As a journalist, reporting on a story with which one has experience is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it gives one a perspective that allows for the kind of insight that others don’t have. On the other hand, there is a danger of looking beyond the facts of the story in an attempt

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Reporter’s Notebook: Saved by a Photojournalist

11/01/2014 by Audrey Quinn

I'd originally planned to operate as a one-woman team, conducting and recording the interviews and shooting the pictures. I figured I knew a thing or two about aesthetics, and I could borrow a friend's camera. I can't say enough how thankful I am I nixed that plan. Instead I brought on a professional photographer with

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Reporter’s Notebook: Creativity and Confidentiality

11/01/2014 by Jenna Kern-Rugile

For me, working on this story was a joy--but there were challenges along the way. Since I don't speak Spanish, I was unable to interview the girls' mothers and had to rely on Barros-Rivera to translate their comments. Although not an ideal approach in journalistic terms, I was confident in Barros-Rivera's translation and therefore had

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Reporter’s Notebook: Humanity and Heartbreak

11/01/2014 by Chandra Thomas Whitfield

I...had to cave into to my own humanity as I listened to the heartbreaking stories that the many transgender women I interviewed shared about their struggles to live what they call their “authentic life.” One after the other, they spoke of suicidal episodes, job loss, physical and emotional abuse and rejection from loved ones, all

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Reporter’s Notebook: Off Base, Off Radar

11/01/2014 by Linda Jacobson

Families are going to move — sometimes for positive reasons, such as better jobs or better neighborhoods. But sometimes those moves are not because of happy circumstances—parents can’t pay the rent, or they get divorced...Military children experience this transition more than anyone. Military children can change schools as many as nine times over the course

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Reporter’s Notebook: Shake and Wake

11/01/2014 by Molly M. Ginty

Spending three days at WIR’s facility—and sitting in on group therapy sessions there—taught me more about addictive and criminal behavior than I had learned through years of reading and writing about incarcerated women and through years of teaching yoga in the prison system. I learned that the right kind of counseling (reflective, probing, thorough, and

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Reporter’s Notebook: Navigating the Personal

11/01/2014 by Alison Byrne

The line between what was important and relevant to the story and what was overstepping my boundaries was not clear to me. This wasn’t a news story, and I wasn’t talking to a politician or a company rep – this was a 12-year-old girl who has already faced more than many adults could handle. I

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Reporter’s Notebook: Tripping “The Wire”

11/01/2014 by Melody Simmons

I have driven through and then walked around Baltimore’s many diverse communities and interviewed hundreds of families about their lives here. Telling these stories has been a privilege because I have found people who are humble, honest and -- despite the odds – hopeful. The adults all want one thing: a better life for their

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