USC health journalism program offers data fellowship

The 2020 Center for Health Journalism Data Fellowship was designed for skilled journalists who want to learn to mine data sources to reveal key insights essential to high-impact journalism. 

The program offered professional reporters an opportunity to learn to acquire, analyze and produce visualizations of data that can help their audiences understand key health and child welfare developments.  Fellows  included beat reporters focused on health, education or children’s issues as well as general assignment reporters with a demonstrated interest in reporting on these themes. We required applicants to have a minimum of three years of professional experience.

Data Fellows received five days of intensive training on data acquisition, cleaning, analysis and visualization, as well as an introduction to important data sets that can serve as the basis for groundbreaking journalism.  They heard from leading data journalism experts about how to make successful Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and gained insights on how to pair original data analysis with compelling narratives.

The 2020 Data Fellowship provided three training tracks tailored to the skill levels of participating journalists. 

Each Fellow was required to propose an ambitious investigative or explanatory reporting project to undertake in the six months following the training. Fellows received grants of $2,000-$10,000 to support reporting and data acquisition costs.   For six months, Fellows will receive guidance from our expert data journalism mentors as they complete ambitious explanatory or investigative Fellowship projects built around data – reporting that impacts policy and spurs new community discussions.

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