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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Our Own Backyard: Side Effects To Focus On Indiana Public Health


The facts are sobering: Indiana faces epidemic levels of chronic disease, a crisis of opioid and tobacco addiction and many barriers to health care access.

In response, WFYI's Side Effects Public Media is expanding its Indiana reporting team, and the additional reporters will focus on Indiana public health issues. The expansion of the news service, based at WFYI Public Media, means that other news outlets in the state faced by rising costs, competition from the web and social media, and shrinking resources can republish and rebroadcast Side Effects’ comprehensive reporting at no cost.

Good public health is integral to the overall success of Indiana, so the local journalists will also examine the factors that contribute to illness and disease, such as poverty, education or lack thereof, access to care, and violence.  They will collaborate with WFYI’s Community Engagement group to leverage relationships within the community and amplify the impact of reporting on target audiences.  “And we will measure that impact,” said Deborah Jones, who is in charge of distribution for Side Effects.  “What happens when people gain new knowledge?  What do they do with it?  And to what does that lead?  That’s what we are committed to finding out.”