Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2022 National Fellowship

The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2022 National Fellowship helps journalists, and their newsrooms, report deeply and authoritatively on the health, welfare and well-being of children, youth, families and communities.

Today, as a nation, we confront a time of continuing collective national trauma as we emerge from a historic pandemic. In this unique moment, the program provides journalists a chance to step away from breaking news to take a deep look together at pervasive social and economic inequities in the United States and the lasting health effects of systemic racism and exclusion on families and communities.

Fellows learn from nationally renowned health experts, policy analysts and community health leaders, from top journalists in the field and from each other. Participants will “graduate” with a multitude of story ideas and sources and a thorough understanding of the root causes of ill health and disparities in outcomes, including why the pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on people and communities of color, the role of childhood trauma in shaping lifelong health and an exploration of environmental and community conditions that can influence how long we live and the quality of our lives.

Now in its 15th year, the National Fellowship annually offers five days of informative and stimulating discussions, plus reporting grants of $2,000-$10,000, engagement grants for new community-journalism partnerships and five months of expert mentoring as Fellows work on ambitious explanatory or investigative projects. In all its training institutes, the Center emphasizes impact journalism, solutions journalism and community engagement approaches that help journalists to make a difference.

Click here to read the hundreds of impactful stories that our Fellows have produced over the years, spurring community conversations, influencing policy and winning journalism awards along the way. 

Participants in the 2022 National Fellowship are eligible to apply to one of several funds, each with its own specialized reporting focus. We’re interested in proposals that delve into what works, including innovative approaches to the challenges that children, youth and families in underserved communities face:

  • The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism supports substantive reporting on community health and health equity issues in underserved communities, including how economic and neighborhood conditions, systemic racism and educational, health and social benefit opportunities impact health and well-being. Each Hunt grantee participates in the National Fellowship and receives a $2,500 to $10,000 grant.
  • The Fund for Journalism on Child, Youth and Family Well-Being underwrites substantive reporting on children, youth and families, including topics such as the impact of poverty and childhood trauma, challenges for youth as they transition into adulthood and the performance of the institutions and government and private programs that serve children, youth and families. Each grantee participates in the National Fellowship and receives a $2,500 to $10,000 grant. 

The National Fellowship Fund underwrites substantive reporting on health conditions in community, health access, the performance of health systems and more, all framed around a health equity lens. Each grantee participates in the National Fellowship and receives a $2,000 reporting grant.  

Plus, all admitted applicants are eligible to apply for The Community Engagement Fund, which will provide supplemental grants to up to five admitted Fellows to underwrite innovative community engagement strategies by journalists and community partners. Check back here soon to learn more about our expanded program. Click here to read more about how we define community engagement and what we’re looking for in community engagement proposals.   

Who can apply? 

  • U.S.-based professional journalists 
  • Reporters who hold full-time staff positions in newsrooms that are both large and small
  • Freelancers are welcome to apply, but must have a confirmed assignment and should earn the majority of their income from journalism.

We give preference to: 

  • Applicants who have a minimum of three years of professional journalism experience.
  • Reporters pursuing collaborative projects between mainstream and ethnic news outlets.

Interested in applying for our Fellowship? 

We strongly encourage applicants to reach out to discuss their ideas ahead of time.

Want more information? Click here to contact a member of our team to brainstorm on your ideas. Or, reach out to Maye Primera, our manager of projects, at mprimera@usc.edu.

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