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California Broadcast Fellowships

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Program Description: 

During hands-on workshops, field trips and seminars, California Broadcast Fellows hear from prize-winning journalists and leaders in health and medicine. Panels and sessions address major issues in health reporting, as well as practical tips for broadcast and multimedia journalists this era of tightening budgets and 24-hour news cycles. Fellows return to their newsrooms armed with ideas on how to produce compelling stories for broadcast and the Web, covering the complex health issues of our diverse society.


Complete Program Schedule:

Session 1 Thursday, May 28 - Sunday, May 31, 2009
Session 2 Thursday,
August 20 - Sunday, August 23, 2009


The all-expenses-paid program - valued at $3,000 - includes free tuition, meals, travel, lodging and all seminar materials. Fellows attend two intensive three-day sessions, spaced three months apart, and receive guidance and support from senior journalists as they complete Fellowship projects back in their newsrooms. The program is funded with a generous grant from The California Endowment and offered by USC's Annenberg School for Communication.

For more information, contact program assistant Megan Chao at 213.437.4439 or at


The California Broadcast Journalism Fellowship brings together television, radio and multimedia journalists to improve their skills and expand their knowledge on critical health topics.

Highlights, Session 1, May 28-31, 2009

Highlights, Session 2 (Upcoming), August 20-23, 2009

Who Can Apply: 

The California Broadcast Fellowships are open to professional broadcast and multimedia journalists across California who have a passion for health news. Journalists working in major market outlets, as well as smaller market and ethnic media outlets are all encouraged to apply.


Session 1 will focus on craft, with plenty of hands-on workshops offering investigative techniques, digital reporting tips and a wealth of sources.

Session 2 will focus on "Healthy Communities" - how neighborhood life, work conditions, social inequities, race and education influence health.

          Session 1 Seminar Highlights Include:

  • Keynote address with NBC Nightly News Science and Medical Correspondent Robert Bazell: Is it Possible to Cover Complex Medical Topics in Two Minutes or Less?
  • Reform That "Will Not Wait" - Key Players and Strategies in the President's Multi-Billion Dollar Plan to Reinvent our Health Care System, with NPR correspondent on Health Policy, Julie Rovner.
  • Getting A Grip On Statistics - How Accuracy with Numbers Shapes the Stories We Tell... For Better or Worse, with Rebecca Goldin, Director of Research at STATS.  STATS is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization affiliated with George Mason University.
  • Evolve or Die! What Happens to Specialty Beats Like Health Journalism in an Age of Multi-Tasking Writer-Producer-Editors, a panel discussion with VP of News at KPIX-TV, Dan Rosenheim, Former Managing Editor at KRON-TV and Assistant New Director at ABC7 San Francisco, Drew Shinnick, and KABC-TV Los Angeles Special Projects Producer, Julia Seifer.  
  • Coping Mechanisms for the Uninsured: Legal and Illegal Paths to Obtaining Care and Medication, with Liz Forer, MSW/MPH, Chief Executive Officer for the Venice Family Clinic, Donna Haugland, RN, CNP Director, Practicioner Services for Minute Clinic, and Kelley Weiss, health care reporter with Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento.
  • Researching Health Topics on Deadline / Accessing Government Information and Developing a Network of Sources, with Mike Berens, investigative reporter from The Seattle Times, and Lisa Stark, correspondent with ABC News.
  • Memorable Moments: The Art of Storytelling, with Carolyn Mungo, the managing editor for KRIV-TV Houston.

    Session 2 Seminar Highlights Include:


  • How to Explain the Universe in 90 Seconds, a keynote address by writer, performer and radio commentator, Sandra Tsing Loh kicks off this four-day intensive program.  As host of Southern California Public Radio’s "The Loh Down on Science," Loh offers daily proof that science and humor can coexist to a following of listeners at more than 100 radio stations nationwide. Participants will get a behind the scenes briefing on how Sandra boils down some of the most complex topics in journalism to serve up humorous, accurate, and easily digestible radio reports.

  • Lifting Entire Neighborhoods: New Strategies to Prevent Child Abuse and Promote Healthy Communities, A field trip to the Magnolia Place Family Center in Central Los Angeles to learn about groundbreaking strategies to promote healthy communities and prevent family violence in low-income neighborhoods. Alex Morales, President and CEO of Magnolia Place, will lead a tour of this new 23-million dollar facility, which brings a wide range of services under one roof, from legal counseling, to parenting classes, to a neighborhood health clinic, all seeking to strengthen and enrich the entire surrounding neighborhood.

  • Digging Deep on a Tight Deadline: Investigative Reporting on Urban Health Issues, Matt Goldberg, Senior Investigative Reporter at KNBC-TV Los Angeles briefs fellows on the latest techniques in computer assisted investigative reporting, with an emphasis on crucial community health topics.

  • Reporting on Diabetes as a Community Health Threat, Francine Kaufman, MD, one of the nation’s foremost experts on the global obesity/diabetes epidemic is joined on this panel by two award-winning journalists who have tackled the story.

  • The Emergency Room: Last Chance for the Uninsured, Broadcast fellows will tour one of the busiest emergency rooms in the nation and hear about critical issues confronting our nation’s crucial safety net healthcare facilities. Edward Newton, MD, Chair, of the Department of Emergency Medicine at LAC + USC Medical Center will discuss the crisis in emergency rooms nationwide, as well as the fallout from California’s ongoing budget crisis.  He will be joined by Southern California Public Radio’s state government reporter, Julie Small and veteran health and science broadcast journalist, Peggy Girshman, both discussing the impact of severe budget cuts on California’s already shaky community health services.

  • New Media Journalism and Old School Ethics: Deciding What’s Right and Wrong on the Digital Frontier, Ethical dilemmas abound on the digital frontiers of journalism. NPR ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard guides fellows through some of the cutting edge issues facing multimedia journalists.

  • Google Mapping: Using Online Maps to Enrich Your Storytelling Power, Los Angeles Times flash producer Sean Connelley and data base producer Ben Welsh present a hands-on workshop revealing online mapping as a powerful tool, both to recognize and report on complex health topics.




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