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Opinion

Our former reporters will be covering session

Our South Florida reporter during 2011, Brittany Davis, has joined the Times/Herald bureau in Tallahassee to report on Medicaid and other health issues for the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

We wish her well.

Of course, it's inconvenient for Health News Florida when larger news operations hire our people just when we depend on them most: during or at the start of a Legislative session. This is the third year in a row that it has happened.

--Christine Jordan Sexton, who served as our free-lance Tallahassee correspondent in 2008-09, now does a spectacular job of covering health issues for Florida Current, a project of LobbyTools.

--Jim Saunders, our full-time Tallahassee reporter in 2010 and early 2011, left in April 2011 to work for News Service of Florida, a subscription news service. He does an equally spectacular job.

Hey, we understand. We're small, a non-profit with such a tight budget we can't even offer health benefits (yes, it's ironic).

So we don't begrudge any of our former reporters from moving on. We take it as a compliment that larger organizations view us as being good at training people on the ins and outs of health insurance issues.

Given that we can link to their stories, we see no need to hire a reporter in Tallahassee now. Our mission is to fill gaps in coverage of important health issues, so that's what we'll keep doing.

--Health News Florida is an independent, online news service dedicated to journalism in the public interest. Contact Carol Gentry, editor, at 727-410-3266 or by e-mail.