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 600 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards.
The 2015 California Health Journalism Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, will be held March 1-5 in Los Angeles. The deadline for applying is December 1, 2014. This Fellowship will focus on health care reform and innovation and take an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health. Each Fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with the costs of reporting an ambitious Fellowship project. Click here for a list of our competitively selected Fellows for the 2014 California Health Journalism Fellowship.
The 2014 National Health Journalism Fellowship met in July 2014. Click here to learn about our 2014 competitively selected Fellows. For a look at the highlights of the 2014 Fellowship week, click here. The dates for the 2015 National Fellowship have yet to be set. Check back frequently, or sign up for our weekly e-newsletter so that you're sure to be notified when the dates are set.
In conjunction with the National Fellowship, we administer 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.
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 editor [at] reportingonhealth [dot] org.
Boyle Heights Beat/El Pulso de Boyle Heights: In a groundbreaking program in hyper-local journalism, we collaborate with the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión 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 National Health Journalism Fellowship and The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism. 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: