That’s a Wrap!: Streetsblog Concludes Its Series on L.A. County Public Health Grants

Lesson 3: Good for Bikes, Good for Business. Thanks, Long Beach.

Yesterday, Streetsblog published the 17th, and final, story in our series on L.A. County’s Policies for Livable and Active Communities and Environment. Each of the five communities who received a PLACE Grant, Culver City, El Monte, Glendale, Long Beach and Pacoima, received $330,000 to create a new document that would become part of the local general plan and create a pilot program demonstrating what their plan hopes to accomplish.

The grants funding expired on June 30, 2011.  The series ran on Streetsblog in August, September and October.  A complete list of all the stories, with links, and videos from each of the five PLACE Coordinators who oversaw the local grants, can be found by clicking here.  Throghout the process, I learned a lot about each community.  As the fellowhsip process advanced, I also learned a lot about journalism and what makes a truly succesful journalist.

But just because the series has wrapped, doesn’t mean we’re done reporting in these areas.  Indeed, watching how these communities apply what they’ve learned in the last three years is going to be a major ongoing story for us for years.  Personally, I’m very interested to see how the Pacoima Wash plan moves forward.  Funding for the series was provided by the Annenberg School of Journalism through an Online Health Journalism Fellowship.  As part of that fellowship, I wrote a wrap-up piece at the Annenberg School’s “Reporting on Health” wesbite.  You can read the entire post here, but here’s a teaser:

 I had spent too much time seeing reporters at major publications listen to both sides of an issue, slap the statements of politicians together, declare a piece “balanced” and publish it.  I had assumed that this is what journalism was about, providing balance.  Now I know that this particualr practice is bad journalism.  When the quest for truth becomes secondary to the need for balance, then something is wrong.

The publication of our series didn’t follow a regular schedule, so if you missed any part of the series, we put together a special webpage that has all of the fellowship stories and videos with each of the PLACE Coordinators from the five communities.  Fee free to enjoy the series at anytime.  And if you hear anything new from Culver City, El Monte, Glendale, Long Beach and Pacoima, please let me know.

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