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About the Fellowships

What We Do

 

The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism Fellowships and Grants

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 1,100 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 and grants are open to all journalists interested in health reporting, not just those on the health beat. We invite participation from print, digital, broadcast and multimedia journalists working for or contributing to mainstream and ethnic media outlets in the United States.

Our 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 a tuition-free weeklong Fellowship for California-based journalists and journalists based elsewhere who contribute primarily to California news outlets. The 2023 California Fellowship will be held in Spring 2023 on the campus of the University of Southern California. The Fellowship will take 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. Each Fellow will receive 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.  In addition, up to five California Fellows will receive community engagement grants of $1,000 to $2,000, as well as five months of specialized mentoring on engaged journalism. The 2022 California Fellowship was held April 18-22 via Zoom because of the pandemic. Click here for a list of the 2022 California Fellows and links to their profiles and blog posts about their Fellowship projects. The California Endowment and the Blue Shield of California Foundation support the California Fellowship.

Data Fellowship

Suited for U.S. journalists wanting to hone their data analysis skills, our Data Fellowship offers intensive training in Excel, R-Studio and data visualization programs to help reporters uncover health stories hiding in plain sight. 

2022 application period now closed. The 2023 Data Fellowship will be held in Fall 2023.

National Fellowship

The annual all-expenses-paid National Fellowship, to be held in July 2023, 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 and 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 2022 National Fellowship is supported by generous grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. Click here for a list of the 2022 National Fellows and links to their profiles. In conjunction with each National Fellowship, we administer several 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 Kristy Hammam Fund for Health Journalism supports impactful reporting on  the mental and developmental health challenges of children and youth and the potentially lifelong effects of pandemic-related societal changes.
  • 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 Funds

California Health Equity Impact Fund 

Our California Impact Fund offers mentorship and support to reporters who think big and want to make a difference in their communities through investigative or explanatory reporting on promising approaches to chronic ills. The deadline to apply for a grant from the 2022 Fund is November 18, 2022. Click here for details about how to apply.

The Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund for Reporting on Health Equity and Health Systems, new in 2021, provided reporting grants of $2,000-$10,000 and five months of mentoring by a seasoned journalism professional to 13 competitively chosen journalists from around the country to support their reporting of ambitious investigative or explanatory projects on structural or systemic issues in the health care system that lead to racial disparities in health outcomes. Click here for a list of the grantees and links to their profiles and summaries of the projects they are working on. The Commonwealth Fund provides support for this fund.

The Center for Health Journalism 2021 Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Fund provided nine reporting grants and mentoring to journalists from both California and other states to report on domestic violence in their communities. The grants were made in conjunction with a two-day symposium on domestic violence that was held in April 2021 for journalists and community storytellers. Click here for details about the symposium and here for a list of the Domestic Violence Impact Reporting Fund grantees and links to their projects. The Blue Shield of California Foundation supported the symposium and the grants to California journalists and storytellers, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation supported the grants to journalists from other states. 

March 13, 2023

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