My first blog post

11/17/2010 1:01 PM

12/16/2010 12:00 PM

Who am I? What do I want to do during my stay in Merced?   As I look at my desk calendar, it’s hard to believe that I’ve almost been with the Merced Sun-Star for two months now.

That means that I only have 16 more months go to, and that I have to make the most out of that time.

I began to work as the health care reporter for the Sun-Star in late September. My 18-month position is being funded by a gracious grant the newspaper received from the California Endowment.

Although, the health care beat is new for me, so far I’ve found it to be quite interesting—especially since there are a lot of health needs in Merced County.

During the past two years I worked as an education reporter for a daily newspaper in Idaho. My main duties were to cover K-12 and higher education issues in Washington state. The paper covered the Palouse region in Idaho and Washington. There, I received a regional AP award for first place in beat reporting.

I landed my first reporting job right out of college in 2007 as a general assignment reporter in the Seattle area. There I worked for a Spanish-language weekly paper and through a partnership the paper established with KUNS-TV, a Univision affiliate; I also worked as a reporter for the TV station.

While in Seattle, I was invited to work on a special project with KOMO-TV, an ABC affiliate, as an undercover reporter. I helped break a story dealing with black market drugs sold illegally in local Hispanic grocery stores. The story received the 2008 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Journalism and the 2008 Northwest Emmy for Investigative Reporting.

Here at the Sun-Star, I plan to use the same journalistic standards that I used at my previous jobs because my passion is to serve our readers with accurate and fair information and to hold the powerful accountable for their actions.

I already have several short-term projects that I plan to work on. They include infant mortality in Merced County, the high cost of health care in prisons, health effects on children whose parents are incarcerated, especially those who witness the arrest and a few others that deal with health disparities.

Soon after I began to work with the Sun-Star, I was fortunate to be selected to participate in a USC Annenberg/The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship. As part of the fellowship, I will also work on three in-depth projects over the next few months.

During my stay in Merced, I hope to work on stories that are of importance to the community. I will use this blog to give updates of my projects, and to write about issues that might not make it in the printed paper.

I’m interested in knowing what health issues matter to you the most—remember I’m only here for 16 more months and I’m eager to serve you the best I can.   Please, feel free to contact me at yamaro@mercedsun-star.com or (209) 388-6507, with any health-related story ideas. Also, let me know if you feel there is something I should write about that maybe hasn’t been covered in the past.  

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