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Phil Wilke
Kansas Public Radio
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KPR reporter to participate in NPR News-Kaiser Health News project

Tue, 09/27/2011
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LAWRENCE – Kansas Public Radio’s Bryan Thompson has been selected as one of 24 public media reporters from across the country to participate in an NPR News-Kaiser Health News reporting project: “Health Care in the States.” The 15-month partnership is an initiative by the news organizations to expand and deepen local and national coverage of health care and make often-complicated national health care issues relatable to audiences.

“Health Care in the States” participants will work with editors and reporters from NPR and KHN, experts and each other on how better to cover health care trends and issues and the impact of developments as legislatures grapple with implementation of the national Affordable Care Act. It will give reporters a chance to learn more about the changing world of hospitals, doctors, nursing homes, Medicaid, Medicare, private health insurance and issues of health care finance and state budgets.

Thompson has been Health Reporter at KPR since 2000, when he began the series “Kansas Kids Health: A Prescription for Change,” reporting on youth health issues. The series changed focus in 2004 to encompass health reporting on all Kansans.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with NPR and KHN,” Thompson said. “These two organizations are providing some of the best health reporting available today. I expect to learn a lot from them, as well as the other local journalists involved in the project.”

Kicking things off, Thompson will attend one of three week-long journalism workshops at NPR’s Washington headquarters with NPR and KHN editors and producers. The NPR and KHN teams will provide editorial and technical assistance, help interpret current events and issues, find sources, identify stories and assist with story structure and editing and audio production. Pieces filed locally by Thompson may be picked up for on-air and online distribution by NPR and KHN.

KPR also has a health reporting partnership with KHI News Service. KHI News is an arm of the Kansas Health Institute, a nonprofit group that specializes in providing objective information to policymakers and doing explanatory reporting on critical health policy issues—much like the role KHN plays nationally.

Kaiser Health News is a service that began in 2009 and specializes in in-depth reporting on health policy. Its stories appear in/on media outlets nationwide, including NPR and NPR.org, as well as The Washington Post, the Tribune newspapers and broadcast outlets, McClatchy Newspapers, MSNBC and USA Today, among others – and on the news service’s website, www.kaiserhealthnews.org.

KPR, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute, and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. KPR can be heard on the Internet at kpr.ku.edu. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk channel on HD Radio. Those broadcasts can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.



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