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Center for Health Journalism announces its 2017 National Fellows

Center for Health Journalism announces its 2017 National Fellows

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Center for Health Journalism Fellows will report on vulnerable children and families
Center for Health Journalism Fellows will report on vulnerable children and families

The Center for Health Journalism at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism has selected 24 journalists from around the nation to participate in its National Fellowship.

The competitively selected journalists will participate in five days of seminars, workshops and field trips that will run from July 16-20. This year’s program will focus on vulnerable children and families and the community conditions and life experiences that contribute to—or threaten – their well-being. You can follow the Fellows and the presentations during our training institute by subscribing to our weekly e-newsletter or reading our Fellowship blog.

Fellows will return home with Center reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000 to assist them with undertaking ambitious explanatory and investigative reporting projects over the next six months.  The Center also will provide six months of mentoring by veteran journalists. Five of the journalists will receive additional $2,000 grants and specialized mentoring on community engagement.

The 2017 National Fellowship helps equip journalists and their newsrooms to tackle pressing child and family well-being reporting thanks to the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment and First 5 LA.

Ambitious journalism on these topics is more critical than ever as a new administration works to upend decades of social policy and to launch wholesale changes in healthcare and social welfare benefits. Our National Fellowship training institute equips reporters to tackle these fundamental issues of our times.

Topics the National Fellows will explore in their reporting with the support of the Center for Health Journalism include the impact of high housing costs on the mental health of Portland families; the disproportionate impact of workplace injuries on uninsured and undocumented Latinos; how Arizona can reduce foster care placements by addressing economic issues that can lead to child neglect; racial disparities in Kentucky’s juvenile justice system; the role of nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life; how children in New Orleans are affected by community violence; the rollback of health reform in North Carolina and Florida; and how schools in a chronically poor Illinois city partner with neighborhood associations, local businesses, faith-based communities and healthcare providers to address the needs of students.  

Since 2005, the Fellowships program has educated more than 800 journalists on the craft and content of health journalism, with an emphasis on the relationship between health and place and vulnerable children and families.  Past Fellowship projects can be found here

Here are the 2017 Grantees (click on their names to see their profiles and read their blog posts about their Fellowship projects):

2017 Child Well-Being Fund Grantees

Rebecca Adams, CQ Roll Call

Lily Dayton, New America Media and California Health Report

Tessa Duvall, Florida Times-Union

Kate Howard, Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Debra Utacia Krol, Indian Country Today

Dara Lind,

Patty Machelor and Perla Treviso, Arizona Daily Star and La Estrella de Tucson

Tracie Potts, NBC News

Lauren Weber, Huffington Post                                                                                              


2017 Dennis Hunt Fund for Health Journalism Grantees

Bethany Barnes, The Oregonian

Jonathan Bullington and Richard Webster of the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Ruben Castaneda, US News

Emmanuel Felton, The Hechinger Report

Antonia Gonzales of National Native News and Sarah Gustavus of New Mexico PBS

Leoneda Inge,  WUNC

Cristina Londono, Telemundo

Melissa Noel, and Voices of New York


Center for Health Journalism Grantees

Marisa Kwiatkowski, Indianapolis Star

Julio Ochoa, WUSF Public Media in Florida

Barrington Salmon, BlackPressUSA

Erin Schumaker, Huffington Post




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COVID-19 has made every journalist a health reporter, whether their usual beat is crime, education or county government.  Our 2021 California Fellowship will make anyone who attends a better health reporter -- and give you a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project. Deadline to apply: March 1.

In our next webinar, we’ll analyze Biden’s COVID-19 strategy in the first 100 days — and the huge obstacles the new federal effort must confront. We’ll also look at how Biden plans to address the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic, with a focus on women and vulnerable families. Sign-up here!


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