Press Release

USC Annenberg Offering $2,000-$10,000 Reporting Grants and All-Expenses-Paid Training to Education Writers

Are you a journalist with big ideas who wants your work to make a difference?  If so, USC Annenberg invites you to apply to apply for the all-expenses-paid National Health Journalism Fellowship — 4 1/2 days of stimulating discussions in Los Angeles, a proving ground for new ways to think about how education, income, environment and community conditions shape a child’s prospects for lifelong health. We’ll also give you a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and six months of mentoring.

The Fellowship is not just about health. The program will focus on vulnerable children and their families and the community conditions that help determine their prospects for well-being, with a particular focus on the harmful effects during childhood of toxic stress and adversity and how well schools and systems like child protective services and juvenile justice help them overcome their challenges. The Fellowship will meet from July 17-21, 2016 on the University of Southern California campus. The deadline to apply is March 18, 2016.

Michael LaForgia, an investigative reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, produced the award-winning “Failure Factories” on the resegregation of Tampa area schools as his 2015 National Fellowship project. “It’s one of the best one of these programs I’ve ever attended,” LaForgia said.   Jackie Valley, a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun whose Fellowship project on children’s mental health problems included a story on schools’ psychological services, said: “The Fellowship inspires reporters, reminding us why we entered the profession in the first place. It taught me to think differently — both in terms of the issues we’re exploring and the way we deliver our stories. You’ll walk away with valuable information, new friends and excitement to dig into your project.”

Based at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism, the  National Health Journalism Fellowship is open to print, broadcast and online journalists from around the country. About half of the 20 National Fellows will receive grants of $2,000 each to undertake ambitious reporting projects on vulnerable children or underserved communities. The other half will receive grants of $2,500-$10,000 from one of two specialty reporting funds — the Dennis A. Hunt Journalism Fund and the Fund for Journalism on Child Well-being.

The Hunt Fund will support investigative or explanatory projects that examine the effects of a specific factor or confluence of factors on health, such as poverty, educational opportunities, pollution, violence, land use, access to health care and access to healthy food. The Child Well-being Fund will support investigative or explanatory reporting on the impact of poverty, trauma or adversity in childhood, and how well the systems, institutions and community-based interventions designed to address these issues are doing. In addition, all National Fellows can apply for a supplemental $2,000 community engagement grant to use to maximize the impact of their reporting. 

Competition for the National Fellowship and the specialty reporting grants is open to both newsroom staffers and freelancers. The grants can be used to defray reporting and publishing-related costs such as travel, database acquisition and analysis, translation services, community engagement strategies and a journalist’s otherwise uncompensated time. Preference is given to applicants who propose co-publication or co-broadcast in both mainstream and ethnic media.

For more information, visit CenterforHealthJournalism.org or e-mail Martha Shirk at Cahealth@usc.edu. To improve your prospects for success, we strongly recommend that you discuss your project idea with us in advance (no later than March 16). 


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