Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund – USC Annenberg Center for Health Information

Dear Journalist,

In this era of tight newsroom budgets, it’s often hard to devote as much time and resources to a topic as warranted.

The USC Annenberg School of Journalism has just launched the Center for Health Journalism Impact Fund, which is designed to support groundbreaking reporting on the health of underserved communities in California.

Through the fund, news organizations can receive critical reporting support at a pivotal moment – as the future of Obamacare and the historic expansion of Medicaid face threats in Congress. In our first round of funding, we are offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000 to up to eight journalists, newsrooms or media collaborations. Grantees also receive six months of mentoring – guidance on everything from story development to relevant sources to new modes of storytelling. Our goal: to help you produce marquee projects that will make a difference.

We’re especially interested in receiving proposals for multi-journalist collaborations either from within a newsroom or between media outlets. Preference will be given to mainstream-ethnic media collaborations. Projects can be proposed by California-based outlets or by national outlets pursuing California stories.

Among the topics we’re interested in funding are the effect on health of environmental conditions where people live and work; how poverty, education, race and ethnicity can shape wellbeing; or how well the local health safety net is serving the community’s most vulnerable residents. We favor investigative or explanatory reporting projects that advance public understanding and health policy for underserved or vulnerable populations, which could include people living in low-income neighborhoods, under-resourced rural areas, prisons, foster homes, juvenile detention centers or homeless encampments. And we don’t want you to just write about problems. We also want you to explore promising solutions.

Visit our website for details about how to apply. To maximize your prospects for being selected, we strongly suggest a advance conversation with us in advance of applying. Write Martha Shirk at to schedule.

The deadline for the first round of grants is February 15.

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