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2017 California Data Fellowship

Program Description: 

The California Data Fellowship introduced 10 competitively selected California journalists to a wealth of data sources that can inform and elevate their health reporting. The all-expenses-paid program, funded with generous grants from the California Health Care Foundation and The California Endowment, included a $2,000 reporting stipend to use to report on health policy topics including mental health and substance abuse; healthcare costs and healthcare financing; the performance of California’s safety net; the patient experience; the healthcare workforce; health care coordination; the use of opioid drugs; end of life and palliative care; telemedicine and the use of technology in health care delivery; data transparency and the health care industry; maternity care and cancer care. Several of the Fellows also received community engagement grants of $2,000. The Fellowship was designed for reporters who want to harness and analyze data that can shape health care decision-making, policy and legislation across California and beyond.

Over the course of four days, Fellows learned how to integrate the growing wealth of California health data – on procedures, providers, costs, conditions and demographics -- into reporting about health issues in their communities.  Editors were invited to participate in a half-day project brainstorming session with other Fellows and editors. Over the six months after the training, our highly skilled Senior Fellows, Paul Overberg, a distinguished data journalist at the Wall Street Journal, and Cheryl Phillips, Lorry I. Lokey Visiting Professor in Professional Journalism at Stanford University and a member of the California Civic Data Coalition, are providing guidance as each Fellow works on a substantive data-informed health journalism project of importance to his or her community. 

Click here for a list of the 2017 California Data Fellows and links to their bios, projects and blog posts.

Here's what some of the 2017 California Data Fellows had to say about the experience:

2017 Fellow Jill Replogle, Orange County reporter for Southern California Public Radio: "It's one of the most worthwhile fellowships I've done--four days of extremely useful tools that you can use in your daily job immediately, plus inspiring speakers with great tips. The obligation to tie a project to the fellowship makes sure you don't lose the skills you learn. I would encourage any reporter to do the fellowship, even if you're not a health reporter."

2017 Fellow Jerome Campbell, a former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, now at the Boston Globe: "The Excel workshops were a game-changer for me because I can make first steps at data analysis. It's really going to help me work better with my newsroom."

Angela Hart, 2017 Fellow and Sacramento Bee political reporter:  "The training helped me to cultivate an investigative state of mind with daily beat reporting, work towards longer investigations. It’s going to help me to analyze and visualize data for context in broader stories. I helped me understand in a very detailed way the financing mechanisms for America's health care system, cost control mechanisms in place, the complicated relationships between providers, hospitals and insurers and the very complicated world of ERISA. It has given me a foundation to take on complex health and political stories and to be able to write with authority on health care financing and delivery systems, as well as reforms underway across the nation."

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements

The deadline is Friday, December 14, to apply for the 2019 California Fellowship, which provides $1,000 reporting grants and six months of expert mentoring to 20 journalists, plus community engagement grants of up to $2,000, plus specialized mentoring, to five.  

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