What We Do
Our family of programs helps journalists and community storytellers innovate, investigate and illuminate health challenges in their communities, serving as a catalyst for change.
Professional Health Journalism Training: Each year, we train competitively-selected professional journalists from leading print, broadcast, ethnic and online media during two journalism institutes, one for California journalists and one for journalists coming from across the nation. 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. Students are not eligible.
The program helps journalists to chronicle and illuminate the health and community challenges confronting an increasingly diverse and polyglot nation. With a historic health care expansion underway, we also provide journalists with resources to report with sophistication and depth on one of the most important health policy developments facing our nation.
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 workshops, field trips 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 health and ill health, including health care access, environment, employment, education, violence and access to healthy food. The program is practical and inspiring, focusing on content as well as craft. We emphasize solutions journalism, journalism with impact and community engagement approaches that help journalists to make a difference.
For up to a year afterward our in-person training, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects. We have trained more than 700 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards.
New in 2015: The 2015 California Health Data Journalism Fellowship will bring 10 journalists to Los Angeles from December 2-5 to learn about the wealth of California health datasets that can inform and elevate their reporting. Each Fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious data-based Fellowship project, as well as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow. This new opportunity is funded by a generous grant from the California Health Care Foundation.
The 2015 California Health Journalism Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, was held March 1-5 in Los Angeles. This Fellowship focused on health care reform and innovation and also took an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health. Each Fellow receives a $1,000 stipend to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project, as ell as six months of mentoring by a Senior Fellow. We will be recruiting applicants for the 2016 California Health Journalism Fellowship in the fall of 2015.
The 2015 National Health Journalism Fellowship brought 21 journalists from around the country to Los Angeles from July 12-16, 2015 for five intensive days of training on community health issues. Each Fellow returned home to spend the next six months working on a substantive health or child welfare-focused journalism project, assisted with a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and six months of mentoring by one of our Senior Fellows. The Fellowship is underwritten by generous grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The California Endowment. Click here for a list of the competitively selected Fellows, and click on their names for their biographies and blog posts about their proposed projects.
In conjunction with the National Fellowship, we administer two specialty reporting grants:
- The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, a competitive grants program to underwrite substantive reporting on community health issues. Each Hunt grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support research on a community health topic.
- The Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being, a competitive grants progrm to underwrite substantive reporting on vulnerable children. Each Child Well-being grantee receives $2,500 to $10,000 to support research on vulnerable children and their families.
Need some advice about which Fellowship option is best for you? Click here.
Other Program Initiatives
Online Community: ReportingonHealth.org, our online community for journalists, bloggers, policy makers and health practitioners, shapes and leads national debates about health and health journalism. Its content has been cited by the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, Fox News, KQED, the Los Angeles Times, hundreds of blogs and thousands of entries on social media platforms. Members are invited to participate and share their insights about health, health policy and health journalism. Interested in learning more? Email [email protected]
Boyle Heights Beat/El Pulso de Boyle Heights: In a groundbreaking program in hyper-local journalism, we collaborate with the Spanish-language newspaper Hoy to publish a bilingual newspaper in Boyle Heights, an immigrant Latino neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is reported "by and for the community," with local high school students serving as reporters and photographers. Local adult contributors also write for BoyleHeightsBeat.com.
The ReportingonHealth Collaborative: In the fall of 2012, we launched a new project: a collaborative reporting effort by ReportingonHealth.org and former Fellows from seven media outlets in California (the Bakersfield Californian, the Merced Sun-Star, Radio Bilingüe in Fresno, The Record in Stockton, Valley Public Radio in Fresno and Bakersfield, Vida en el Valle in Fresno, and the Voice of OC in Santa Ana). The inagural project focused on valley fever, a serious disease that has conributed to the deaths of more than 3,000 Californians over the last two decades, but received inadequate attention from researchers, policymakers and public health officials. Click here to read the stories that have resulted from this groundmaking collaboration. A second Collaborative effort involving six of our 2013 National Fellows produced Living in the Shadows, a multi-outlet look at the interrelationship of immigration status and health.
Media Grant-making: We award more than $50,000 in reporting grants annually through The California Health Journalism Fellowship, The National Health Journalism Fellowship, the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism and the Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being, as well as special grants for community engagement. These grants provide critical support and resources at a time of industry upheaval, enabling the reporting of important stories that spark new conversations and policy change.
Get updates on our Fellowships and follow our Fellows' work: