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Center for Health Journalism awards 2020 Impact Fund grants

Center for Health Journalism awards 2020 Impact Fund grants

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We are pleased to announce awards of $25,000 in reporting grants from the Center for Health Journalism’s Impact Fund to help California journalists undertake ambitious explanatory or investigative reporting about health issues in underserved communities in the state.

The projects to be undertaken by our Impact Fund grantees will provide critical information to Californians about chronic ills as well as new challenges that have emerged during the pandemic. I’m inspired by these reporters and their commitment to advancing health equity.

The grants will go to journalists reporting on topics ranging from environmental hazards for people of color living near the Salton Sea; to the ways that Latino residents of San Francisco get information on the pandemic; to a rolling investigation of the pandemic response; to homelessness and sexual abuse survivors’ journeys, to a look at how farmworkers in California’s vineyards fared during the pandemic.

The grantees and their proposed projects are:

Caitlin Antonios, a Los Angeles-based freelancer reporter, who will report on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for CalMatters.

Sammy Caiola of Capital Public Radio, who will produce an explanatory, engaged journalism project that explores the steps and barriers in a sexual abuse survivor's path to healing.

Adriana Camarena and Alexis Terrazas of El Tecolate, a bilingual outlet in San Francisco, who will report on what information sources inform COVID-19-related decisions by residents of the city’s Mission District.

Angela Chen, a reporter and anchor for KESQ-TV and Telemundo Noticias 15 in Palm Springs, who will look into health hazards from the Salton Sea.

Kristi Coale, a freelancer for The Frisc, an online outlet in San Francisco, who will report a series on homelessness issues.

Sarah Klearman, a reporter for the Napa Valley Register, who will report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges on the mostly Latino workers who tend Napa Valley’s vines.

Holly McDede, a reporter/producer for KQED, who will produce a series on a growing public shaming movement led by victims of sexual assaults and racism

The Center for Health Journalism sought proposals from journalists who think big and want to make a difference. We encouraged applications for collaborations by multiple media outlets, individual journalists and ethnic and mainstream media.  

The Fund supports investigative or explanatory reporting projects that advance public understanding of challenges facing underserved or vulnerable populations and health disparities.

These awards are supported by a generous grant from the California Wellness Foundation.

“By lifting up stories of individuals and communities impacted by health inequities, these journalists will inform readers and viewers about the experiences of underserved Californians,” said David Littlefield, Cal Wellness public affairs manager. “Their voices need to be heard in order to address and solve deep-rooted issues that affect health and wellness.”

The Center for Health Journalism has trained more than 1,000 journalists in its in-depth Fellowships and journalism funds since 2005 and provided financial support for thousands of investigative and explanatory journalism projects. More than 10,000 reporters and policy thinkers participated in our “Covering Coronavirus” and Health Matters webinar series in 2020.

The Center advances “impact journalism,” which marries powerful narratives, data and community engagement to improve health conditions in communities across America. Read more about the Center here.


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As public health officials like to say, "COVID-19 isn't done with us." And journalists know that we're not done with COVID-19. Apply now for five days of stimulating discussions on the pandemic's disproportionate impact on people of color -- plus reporting and engagement grants of $2k-$10k and five months of mentoring while you work on an ambitious project.

Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 



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