What We Do
Mission Statement: At a time of dramatic change in the media landscape, our family of programs helps journalists and community storytellers innovate, investigate and illuminate health challenges in their communities, serving as a catalyst for change.
Among the components of our program:
Professional Health Journalism Training: Each year, we train competitively selected professional journalists from leading print, broadcast, ethnic and online media in two journalism institutes, one for California and one for journalists from around the nation. During each institute, we teach best journalistic practices and multi-media storytelling 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. For up to a year afterwards, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects, many of which have won journalism prizes. We have trained more than 600 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced.
Media Grant-making: We have awarded more than $60,000 in reporting grants in 2013 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.
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.
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.
More about the Fellowships
Our reporting Fellowships offer journalists a chance to step away from the newsroom to hone their health reporting skills. 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.
The program is both practical and inspiring, focusing on content as well as craft. With the Internet rapidly changing the face of modern journalism, we teach strategies for multimedia storytelling and discuss the latest trends in digital journalism. Seminars also highlight great story-telling techniques and provide tips for old-fashioned street reporting. Award-winning journalists share the inside story of ambitious health projects and Fellows team up with seasoned journalists who serve as mentors and guides on final projects that are part of the Fellowship program.
The Fellowships encourage journalists to chronicle and illuminate the health challenges and social justice issues confronting an increasingly diverse and polyglot nation. The program is 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.
We offer a variety of all-expenses-paid Fellowships aimed at meeting the training needs of journalists from both California and other states.
The 2014 California Health Journalism Fellowship met in Los Angeles February 23-27, 2014. The 2015 Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, will be held February 23-27 in Los Angeles. Check back in late September for details about how to apply.
The 2014 National Health Journalism Fellowship met in July 13-17 in Los Angeles. This intensive five-day gathering comes with a $2,000 grant to support the reporting of an ambitious health-related project. Follow this link for a list of the competitively selected Fellows. For a look at the highlights of the Fellowship week, click here.
In conjunction with the National Fellowship, we also 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. The deadline for applications for the 2014 grants is April 18, 2014.
Need some advice about which option is best for you? Click here.
Please check back frequently for more seminars and events.
Get updates on our Fellowships and follow our Fellows' work: