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About the Center

Our Mission

Helping journalists investigate health challenges and solutions in their communities with fact-based, rigorous reporting that serves as a catalyst for change.

At the Center, we advance "Impact Reporting" that combines powerful narratives, unassailable data and engagement with communities who journalists serve.

Our Initiatives

The Center for Health Journalism has trained more than 1,000 reporters in in-person Fellowships, which include news partnerships, intensive training programs, mentoring and financial support. Working with the Center, Fellows produce major investigative and explanatory projects that have won journalism honors and changed laws and policies across the country. Its "engaged journalism" initiative helps journalists reinvent their reporting process to be more equitable and inclusive, allowing community voices to help shape the narrative. Our online community's content at CenterforHealthJournalism.org reaches between 60,000 and 100,000 monthly, an influential audience that includes journalists, policymakers, clinicians and legislators. Our Health Matters series, with its one-hour webinars, has reached more than 6,000 to date in 2020. All of our programs have been reconceived in 2020 to help reporters address the twin pandemics we confront today COVID-19 and systemic racism within the context of vulnerable children and families, health disparities and health care access. 

Our Commitment to Expose Systemic Racism and to Advance Diversity in Journalism

In these challenging times, we seek to support, enrich and inform the national conversation spurred by the Black Lives Matter Movement in the wake of the brutal police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and so many others.

Our Fellowships, webinars, columns and other initiatives seek to spur exemplary reporting on systemic racism in health care settings and in communities, the role of racism on health outcomes, and the disproportionate toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and chronic disease on Black lives and on other communities of color.

The Center for Health Journalism has long been defined by its efforts to advance journalism that addresses health inequities and the role of systemic racism in shortening lives and opportunities and contributing to ill health. We promote newsroom diversity in all of our programs and initiatives. Our professional training programs include journalists of color at rates that far exceed representation in America's newsrooms. The Center also gives priority to mainstream-ethnic media collaborations for its Fellowship projects.

Professional Health Journalism Training & News Partnerships

We partner with reporters and their newsrooms to nurture ambitious journalism that impacts policy and spurs new community discussions. Our all-expenses-paid fellowships offer journalists a chance to step away from their newsrooms to hone health reporting skills and to dive deep into storytelling on health disparities and vulnerable children, youth and families, and the role of systemic racism in health outcomes, including the COVID-19 pandemic. In intimate workshops, field trips and seminars at our home base in Los Angeles, Fellows learn from the country's most respected health and medical experts, from top journalists in the field, community leaders and from each other. We delve into current debates and dilemmas in social welfare, public health and health care; offer tips and mentoring opportunities to extend the reach and impact of projects, and emphasize data skills that help reporters tell incisive and groundbreaking stories. Throughout, we explore journalism on community health –how circumstances outside the doctor’s office such as violence, access to healthy food, poverty and pollution – contribute to well being.

For six months after our in-person training, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects. We have trained more than 1000 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards. For questions about upcoming programs, contact us at cahealth@usc.edusign up for our newsletter or consider joining our online community

Media Grant-Making

We award tens of thousands in grants annually to underwrite substantive explanatory and investigative journalism and community engagement by newsrooms.

Our Impact Funds support reporting on critical issues that deserve critical and close journalistic attention. Topics of current interest include underserved communities, health disparities, community wellbeing, immigrant community health, and access to healthcare. Through investing in an Impact Fund, grant makers can contribute critical financial support at a pivotal moment. By partnering with the Center, funders invest in a proven partner with an exemplary track record. Grants can go to newsroom-wide projects, individual journalists, or news collaborations, with preference given to mainstream-ethnic media collaborations.  

Our Center for Health Journalism Fellows receive reporting grants through out National, California or Data Fellowships or one of our their related reporting funds. Each year, five to seven of our National Fellows receive grants from the The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, which honors the legacy of the late Dennis A. Hunt, a visionary leader at The California Endowment who co-founded our program. Another five to seven National Fellows receive grants from our Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being, which supports journalism on child health, welfare or well-being. All our California, Data and National Fellows also receive reporting grants.

Participants in all our initiatives are eligible to receive grants and six months of intensive mentoring from our Community Engagement Initiative

Our reporting and engagement grants, all competitively awarded, provide critical support and resources at a time of industry challenges, enabling the reporting of stories that might otherwise have gone untold and providing funds for engagement with communities to further the impact of the work and highlight community voices. 

Center for Health Journalism Digital (CenterforHealthJournalism.org)

Center for Health Journalism Digital is the Center's independent online news and commentary site and community, which includes contributors across a wide range of disciplines who are passionate about fostering community health, health equity and exemplary health and medical reporting. Center for Health Journalism Digital offers readers original and objective explanatory and investigative news and commentary on health policy, our nation's health divideinvestigative reporting on health, and children's health. Starting in spring 2020, we made the COVID-19 pandemic a major focus of our work with the launch of The Coronavirus Files. The Center's content also focuses on health policy, health equity and medical issues ranging from federal or state reform efforts to reporting on how environment, poverty and race contribute to good health or ill health, to best practices in health care delivery and medicine. Along the way, the site helps to inform and spark health policy conversations and great health journalism – all with the larger aim of better health outcomes and health equity for our nation’s communities. It also provides its members with a place to swap ideas, to showcase their work and to benefit from our reporting insights, webinars and tip-filled columns. Its content has been cited by the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, Fox News, KQED, the Los Angeles Times, hundreds of blogs and tens of thousands of entries on social media platforms.

To join the Center for Health Journalism Digital community, click here.

The Center for Health Journalism Collaborative

Health Journalism Fellows and their media outlets team with us to tackle ambitious investigative projects. The Center for Health Journalism serves as the project editorial lead for news projects on a common theme involving mainstream and ethnic media that run in multiple outlets across the state of California or the country - joining forces for maximum impact. 

In February 2019, we launched our bilingual "California Uncovered" collaborative project which brought together Spanish and English-language media in California to report on the state's uninsured and policy options to reduce their numbers. The project's goal: to animate a political debate in Sacramento with community stories that help all audiences understand challenges and opportunities. Outlets include newspapers from the McClatchy Corp., Gannett Co., Southern California News Group, and La Opinión, as well as broadcasters at Univision and Capital Public Radio. 

Our Collaborative work began in 2012 with our first Collaborative project,  "Just One Breath," which involved media outlets in California and Arizona (the Bakersfield Californian, Radio Bilingüe in Fresno, Valley Public Radio in Fresno and Bakersfield, Vida en el Valle in Fresno, the Voice of OC in Santa Ana, Hanford Sentinel, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, La Estrella de Tucsón and CenterforHealthJournalism.org). It examined the toll of valley fever, a devastating and overlooked disease plaguing California’s Central Valley and parts of Arizona. In January 2018, California legislators approved millions in funding to improve public health tracking of valley fever. Federal and state legislators credited our reporting for shaping their awareness of the issues. 

Another Collaborative project, Living in the Shadows, brought together six of our 2013 National Fellows to examine the nexus between immigration status and mental health. 

Webinars

Our webinar series, Health Matters, offers hour-long webinars on critical health and policy issues to audiences of about 200-500 each of journalists, health leaders, legislators, community members and clinicians. Our Health Matters webinars have become an indispensable resource during the pandemic. In late February 2020, well before most states issued their "shelter-in-place" orders, the Center launched a weekly webinar series on the global pandemic, Covering Coronavirus (now offered twice a month) that equips journalists to provide "essential" information and insights to the public, educating journalists thrust into reporting on a complex and fast-moving story for the first time.

Weekly Newsletters

The Center publishes a weekly newsletter on Wednesdays that highlights our Fellows' work as well as new content on Center for Health Journalism Digital.  Beginning in April 2020, the Center launched a weekly newsletter, The COVID-19 Files, published every Monday. It showcases important journalism around the country on the global pandemic, on health disparities and COVID-19 as well as useful resources for journalists covering this historic health crisis.

 

 

 

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