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About the Fellowships

What We Do

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 2017 National Fellowship will bring 20 journalists from around the country to Los Angeles from July 16-20, 2017 for five intensive days of training on community health issues and the impact on health of adverse experiences in childhood. Each Fellow returns home to spend the next six months working on a substantive community health, child-welfare or health policy 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, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. Read highlights of the 2016 National Health Journalism Fellowship here, as well as a list of the competitively selected 2016 Fellows. Click on their names to read their blog posts about the reporting projects they produced.  

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. Each year, five National Fellows receive Community Engagement Grants, in addition to their reporting grants, as well as six months of mentoring from a community engagement specialist. 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 2017 California Fellowship, for California-based journalists only, was held March 5-9, 2017 in Los Angeles. This Fellowship focused on the future of health care reform and innovation, given the 2016 election results, and also took an in-depth look at how community conditions influence individuals' prospects for health. Each Fellow received 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.  In addition,  five California Fellows received Community Engagement Grants of $1,000 to $2,000, as well as six months of specialized mentoring. The California Fellowship is underwritten by The California Endowment and the Blue Shield of California Foundation.

California Data Fellowship

The 2017 California Data Fellowship will bring 10 California journalists to Los Angeles from  October 25-28 to learn about the wealth of California health datasets that can inform and elevate their reporting. Most Fellows will receive a $2,000 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. Up to two will receive stipends of $3,500 for reporting projects that focus on children under 5 in Los Angeles County. This Fellowship is funded by generous grants from the California  Health Care Foundation, The California Endowment and First 5 L. A. Click here for a list of the California Data Fellows in our inaugural class in 2015, and then click on their names to read their blog posts about their projects and access their published or broadcast work. 


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