Journalist’s Resource: Research on today’s news

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Foodborne illness: Causes, identification and costs
Steering clear of bagged romaine? That’s not a bad idea, given that recent research found that it’s harder to remove harmful bacteria from salad greens than one might think. For details on this study and more, consult our latest roundup on foodborne illness.

Digital media research: The most interesting studies of early 2018
We highlight some of the most compelling papers in digital and social media published or released during the first quarter of the year. They offer insights into important topics such as fake news websites, audience analytics, media bias and using virtual reality to tell stories that evoke empathy.

Airbnb prices lower among minority hosts in San Francisco
A new study published in the Journal of Housing Economics looks at the pricing of San Francisco rentals available through Airbnb, a platform that allows individuals to rent rooms directly to others. It found that hosts who are Asian or Hispanic charge 8-10 percent less than white hosts on similar properties.

Do school uniforms really improve student achievement? 
We’ve updated one of our most popular posts with new research and statistics. This research roundup looks at how mandatory uniforms affect student achievement, attendance and behavior as well as gang activity in public schools. It’s a useful tool for fact-checking claims made by school board members, state legislators and others.

Economic impact studies: Should journalists rely on them? 
Before big projects go to elected leaders for a vote, consultants often will be hired to determine their financial impact – whether the projects will create jobs, for example, and improve tourism and property values. This updated tip sheet offers journalists guidance in scrutinizing and writing about economic impact studies. We also provide a list of academic articles that discuss these studies and their shortcomings.


House Farm Bill Will Make Families Work 20 Hours a Week to Qualify for Food Stamps and Reduce Access to School Lunch

“The Farm Bill coming out of the House Agricultural Committee will hurt poor children, their families, and their public schools. All this is why the National Education Association is asking its members to send its action alert asking members of the U.S. House of Representatives to vote against the Farm Bill that was passed out of committee last week. You might also want to send NEA’s action alert to your Congressional representative.”


With voting along strict party lines, the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passed a 2018 Farm Bill out of committee last Wednesday, a bill which would add punitive work requirements curtailing families’ participation in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.  Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Conaway has said he will bring the bill to the House floor for a vote in May.  The bill would not only reduce families’ access to SNAP, but it would also limit students’ access to free school lunch and breakfast programs.

Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations for the National Education Association, sent a letter to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week to urge them to vote NO on this bill when it comes before the full House next month.  Egan explains the implications for federally funded school meals: “This bill makes unnecessary changes to certification and…

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Betsy DeVos Watch: Adding another anti-civil rights lawyer to the Dept. of Education

“Betsy DeVos has also diminished the Department of Education’s role in defending the rights of LGBT students, students with disabilities and students of color. Bringing in Muniz, is just one more confirmation of the Department of Education’s lack of commitment to civil rights issues within education.”

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last Wednesday, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced the confirmation of Carlos G. Muñiz as the Education Department’s General Counsel. In a statement that DeVos released, she said: 

We are pleased to finally have Carlos on the team. After a protracted confirmation process, Carlos can at last get to work on behalf of our nation’s students. He has dedicated his career to upholding the law, and his insight and expertise will be invaluable as we work to advance educational opportunities for all students.

As a lawyer, Muniz is currently a partner with McGuireWoods LLP and a senior vice president in the National & Multistate Strategies group of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. Muniz previously workedas Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s chief of staff for three years, between 2011 and 2014. During his time in that capacity, Muniz represented Florida State University in a lawsuit brought by a student…

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