1. How Bangladesh reduced child pneumonia deaths by 80% in 20 years

    November 13, 2014

    What causes more deaths than HIV, malaria, and measles—combined? Bet you didn’t guess pneumonia.

    Despite the fact that in 2013, a child died from pneumonia every 35 seconds, minimal funding has gone to addressing this serious public health issue.

    A new report published yesterday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) includes statistics like this one. However, these grim realities can mask critical successes, lessons for how all countries can fight childhood pneumonia.

    The graphic below shows how the toll of childhood pneumonia has changed over time for a subset of high-burden countries. Globally, child pneumonia deaths fell 58% between 1990 and 2013. A number of large countries saw even more dramatic declines.

    Changes in pneumonia deaths, 1990-2013

    Bangladesh, the leader of progress in South Asia, is a prime example of how gains in child health can be achieved when a disease is addressed from every angle. From 1990 to 2013, Bangladesh recorded an 80% drop in child pneumonia deaths. In 1990, Bangladesh had the sixth highest number of child pneumonia deaths in the world; by 2013, the country fell to the 14th highest. To take on its biggest childhood killer, Bangladesh substantially improved the three key components of reducing pneumonia: prevention, treatment, and risk reduction. [Read more...]

  2. “Ed Lab”: Moving the needle

    November 12, 2014

    Photo: Mike Siegel

    Photo: Mike Siegel

    A year ago, The Seattle Times and Solutions Journalism Network hatched “Education Lab,” an intensive, ongoing examination of emerging responses to the challenges facing public education in Washington State. In that time, The Times has produced more than a dozen major features, accompanied by video documentaries, guest opinion pieces, Q&As, and hundreds of shorter articles and blog posts – all informed by the solutions lens.

    The question: Has all this moved the needle? Have readers noticed? Do they care? Has solutions-oriented reporting changed, as we would expect, the way people think about, discuss, and act on education issues?

    We’re starting to get answers. In August and September, The Times conducted an online survey of its readers, exploring awareness of and engagement with the Ed Lab series — and the results now are in. Executive summary: People have noticed. They do seem to care. For many, solutions coverage does seem to be changing the perceptions of problems in schools and how they might be addressed. [Read more...]

  3. #MuckedUp: Talking Shop with MuckRack

    November 12, 2014

    Did you miss out on our October 28th Twitter chat with Muck Rack’s Kirsten Browning and over 75 participants? The Storify board is now up, a distillation of the fantastic discussion. (This board, below, is just the first part of the discussion; for the complete discussion, click the big blue button at the bottom. Yes, that one.)

    A quick breakdown of the chat:

    • In one hour, SJN answered 5 moderator questions, one every ten minutes, and 30 participant questions, for a total of 92 tweets in 60 minutes. That’s 1.5 tweets every minute and yes, I dreamt in 140 characters that night.
    • We were retweeted 185 times and favorited 146 times.
    • Participants included numerous freelancers, editors, and academics from the United States and Europe, but also renowned Indonesian politicians and stand-up comedians, the head of communications for UNDP Nepal, and even Chicago Symphony composers-in-residence. SoJo has fans everywhere!
    • Our most popular tweet? “Today’s journalism isn’t resulting in better policies bc we’re telling people what’s wrong with the world but not what’s being done about it.”