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2015 California Data Fellowship

Program Description: 

Our new California Data Fellowship introduced 10 competitively-selected California journalists to a wealth of data sources that can inform and elevate their health reporting. The all-expenses-paid program, funded with generous grants from the California Health Care Foundation and The California Endowment, includes a $1,000 reporting stipend. The Fellowship was designed for reporters who want to learn how to harness and analyze data that can shape health care decision-making, policy and legislation across California and beyond. It will help journalists who are skilled storytellers to advance to a new level by mining healthcare data to reveal key insights essential to high impact journalism. 

Over the course of four days, Fellows learned how to integrate the growing wealth of California health data – data about procedures, providers, costs, conditions and demographics -- into reporting and writing about health issues in their communities.  We also brought in editors to participate in a half-day project brainstorming session with other Fellows and editors.  Our highly skilled Senior Fellows will provide guidance over the next six months as each Fellow works on a substantive data-based health journalism project. 

Click here for a list of Fellows and links to their Fellowship projects and blog posts.

Who Can Apply: 

This Fellowship was open to all California-based journalists, as well as journalists based elsewhere who contribute regularly to a California-based media outlet. 

 

 

Highlights: 

Here are some  highlights:

  • William E. Heisel, director of global engagement for the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations at the University of Washington and a blogger for CenterforHealthJournalism.org, gave the keynote dinner address on "The Power of Small Data." 
  • Paul Overberg, a data journalist at the Wall Street Journal, provided a primer on the basics of spreadsheet analysis and the census.
  • Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional in Residence at Stanford University's Department of Communication, provided instruction on standardizing data. 
  • Meghan Hoyer, a data journalist for The Associated Press, provided a roadmap to evaluating the success of Obamacare and a broad overview of datasets instrumental to good health reporting. 
  • Sarah Cohen, editor of the Computer-Assisted Reporting Group at The New York Times, talked about how reporters can use FOIA and its cousins to access death records, hospital payments and lobbying by health care companies.  

Announcements

The wave of attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has been emotionally gutting for these communities. In our next webinar, we’ll examine the impact of the crisis on the mental health of Asian Americans, especially the women who are often targeted. Join us for a deep discussion to inform your coverage of the crisis and broader reporting on AAPI communities. Sign-up here!

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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