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About the Fellowships

What We Do

 

The USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowships

Each year, we train competitively selected professional journalists from leading print, broadcast, ethnic and online media during three all-expenses-paid journalism institutes, one for California journalists and two for journalists  from across the nation. After the trainings, we partner with our Fellows and their news organizations to nurture ambitious journalism that impacts policy and spurs new community discussions. From time to time, we offer other specialized health journalism training opportunities as well. We have trained more than 1,000 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the thousands of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards along the way.

The Fellowships are open to all journalists interested in health reporting, not just those on the health beat. We invite participation from print, broadcast and multimedia journalists working for or contributing to mainstream and ethnic media outlets in the United States.

Our reporting Fellowships offer journalists a chance to step away from the newsroom to hone their health reporting skills, providing critical resources at a time of dramatic change in the media landscape. In online workshops and discussions, Fellows learn from nationally renowned health experts, policy analysts and community health leaders, from top journalists in the field, and from each other. Participants "graduate" with a multitude of story ideas and sources, plus a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of good health journalism. We teach best journalistic practices and help journalists explore the root causes of ill health, including systemic racism, poverty, trauma, barriers to health care access, the built environment, housing and food insecurity, unemployment, lack of education and exposure to community or domestic violence. The program is both practical and inspiring.  We emphasize solutions journalism, journalism with  impact and community engagement approaches that help journalists to make a difference.

For up to five months afterwards, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects.

California Fellowship

Each year, we offer an all-expenses-paid Fellowship for California-based journalists and journalists based elsewhere who contribute primarily to California news outlets. The 2021 California Fellowship was held April 12-16  through an online platform, given the travel restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fellowship took an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health as well as the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on people of color. One day of the Fellowship was devoted to domestic violence as a public health issue. Each Fellow received a $2,000 grant to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project on a California health issue and will receive five months of mentoring by a veteran journalist. Larger grants of $2,500 to $10,000 were awarded for exceptionally ambitious reporting proposals, including those that involve newsroomwide, multi-newsroom or mainstream-ethnic media collaborations. In addition, several California Fellows received Community Engagement Grants of $1,000 to $2,000, as well as six months of specialized mentoring on engaged journalism. Click here for a list of the 2021 California Fellows and links to their profiles and blog posts about their Fellowship projects. The California Endowment, the Blue Shield of California Foundation and First5 LA supported the 2021 California Fellowship. 

Data Fellowship

The annual all-expenses-paid Data Fellowship, usually held in the late fall, introduces journalists from both California and around the country to the wealth of health and child welfare and well-being datasets that can inform and elevate their reporting. Each Fellow receives a $2,000 grant to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious data-based Fellowship project, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow, and one or two Fellows will be eligible for a $3,500 grant to assist with reporting a project focused on pregnant women or children 5 and under in Los Angeles County. This Fellowship is funded by generous grants from the The California Endowment, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation. The Community Engagement Fund will provide supplemental grants of up to $2,000 to several Data Fellows from California to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. The2020 Data Fellowship was held November 30-December 4, 2020. Click here for a list of 2020 Data Fellows with links to their profiles and project summaries.

National Fellowship

The annual all-expenses-paid National Fellowship, held each July, is designed for journalists who want to do groundbreaking reporting on health disparities and on vulnerable children, youth and families and the community conditions and social forces that contribute to their health, welfare well-being. Each Fellow  spends the next five months working on a substantive reporting project, assisted with a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and mentoring by a veteran journalist. The 2021 National Fellowship will be held July 19-23, 2021 via Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a list of the 2020 National Fellows and links to their profiles. The 2021 National Fellowship is supported by generous grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. In conjunction with each National Fellowship, we administer two specialty reporting grant funds and a community engagement grant fund:

  • The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, a competitive grants program to underwrite substantive reporting on health disparities and community health issues. Each Hunt grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support research on a community health topic. To read a selection of projects produced with the support of the Hunt Fund, click here.
  • The Fund for Journalism on Child and Youth Well-Being, a competitive grants program to underwrite substantive reporting on the health, welfare and wellbeing of vulnerable children, youth and families.  Each Child Well-being grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support their reporting.
  • The Community Engagement Fund provides supplemental grants of $1,000 to $2,000 to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. Each year, five National Fellows receive Community Engagement Grants, in addition to their reporting grants, as well as five  months of mentoring from a community engagement specialist. Click here to learn more about our community engagement initiative, and click here for a FAQ on the engagement grants. Click here to read a blog post by Center Director Michelle Levander and watch a video about the goals of the grants.

Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund

The USC Center for Health Journalism’s  Impact Fund provides support to California journalists who think big and want to make a difference in their communities. We welcome applications from journalists or newsrooms that want to tackle ambitious investigative or explanatory projects – by themselves, as a newsroom-wide undertaking or as a collaboration with other media outlets in their communities.  The California Wellness Foundation provides support for the Impact Fund.

Center for Health Journalism Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Fund

The Center held a free two-day symposium on domestic violence April 16 and 23, 2021 for journalists and community storytellers. All journalists and community storytellers who attended are eligible to apply for a reporting grant of $2,500-$10,000 to report an ambitious investigative or explanatory project on domestic violence, with mentoring from a veteran journalist, by October 31, 2021. Click here for details about the symposium and what topics we're interested in for the reporting projects and here for details about what's required in the application and a link to it.


 

Get updates on our Fellowships and follow our Fellows' work:

 

July 19, 2021
In conjunction with the National Fellowship, we administer two funds that underwrite specialized reporting on domestic health and social welfare... more »
July 19, 2021
Here's what some of our 2019 National Fellows had to say about the experience:...

Announcements

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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