Center for Health Journalism

About the Fellowships

What We Do

Fellowship participants

The USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowships

Each year, we train competitively-selected professional journalists from leading print, broadcast, ethnic and online media during at least two all-expenses-paid journalism institutes, one for California journalists and one for journalists coming from across the nation. We then partner with our Fellows and their newsrooms to nurture ambitious journalism that impacts policy and spurs new community discussions. From time to time, we offer other specialized health journalism training opportunities as well. We have trained more than 800 journalists since 2005. Click here to read the hundreds of stories that our Fellows have produced, changing policy and winning journalism awards along the way.

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.

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 ill health, including trauma during childhood, barriers to health care access, the built environment, unemployment, lack of education, exposure to community or domestic violence and lack of 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 six months afterwards, senior journalists guide Fellows as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects.

National Fellowship

The 2016 National Health Journalism Fellowship will bring 20 journalists from around the country to Los Angeles from July 17-21, 2016 for five intensive days of training on community health issues and the impact on health of adverse experiences in childhood. Each Fellow will return 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 National Fellowship is underwritten by generous grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The California Endowment. Read highlights of the 2015 National Health Journalism Fellowship here, as well as a list of the competitively selected 2015 Fellows and blog posts about the reporting projects they are working on.  

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 program 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.
  • The Community Engagement Fund provides supplemental grants of $2,000 to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies. About five National Fellows will receive Community Engagement Grants in addition to their reporting grants. Click here to read a blog post by Center Director Michelle Levander and watch a video about the goals of the grants.

California Fellowship

Each year, we offer an all-expenses-paid Fellowship for California-based journalists and journalists based elsewhere who contribute primarily to California news outlets. The 2016 California Health Journalism Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, will be held March 6-10, 2016 in Los Angeles. This Fellowship will focus on health care reform and innovation and also take 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 on a California health issue, as well 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. Read highlights of the 2015 California Health Journalism Fellowship here. Click here for information about how to apply. The California Fellowship is underwritten by The California Endowment and the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

California Data Fellowship

New in 2015, the California Data Fellowship brought 11 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 generous grants from the California HealthCare Foundation and The California Endowment.


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