Youngsters and their parents take off from the starting line to begin the Armed Forces Kid's Fun Run in 2012.
Flickr / Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office / Nate Pesce

USC Annenberg awards $64,000 in grants for reporting on health and child well-being

The Health Journalism Fellowships at USC Annenberg announced journalism awards totaling more than $64,000 to support investigative and explanatory reporting projects on vulnerable children and community health.

Twenty-one journalists from around the nation will receive reporting grants from the new Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being, the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism and the National Health Journalism Fellowship

All 21 grant recipients will also participate in USC Annenberg’s National Health Journalism Fellowship: five days of seminars, workshops and a field trip that will run from July 12-16 on the University of Southern California campus. This year’s program will focus on vulnerable children and families and the community conditions that contribute to their well-being. Each Fellow returns home to complete a reporting project over the next six months, with guidance from senior journalists. 

Seven Fellows will receive grants of $2,500 to $7,500 from The Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being, which was established this year with a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

“The Casey Foundation is delighted to support reporting projects that examine significant barriers to children’s success and well-being,” said Norris West, the foundation’s director of strategic communications. “These impressive journalists are taking on ambitious projects that have the potential of highlighting issues in a way that will help create a brighter future for children.”

Seven other Fellows will receive grants of $2,500 to $5,136 from the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, established eight years ago by friends, family members and colleagues of the late Dennis A. Hunt, a visionary leader at The California Endowment who co-founded the Fellowships.

“We’re pleased and proud to support these high-impact projects aimed at showing there is much more we can to do to improve health and opportunity for children and families in vulnerable communities” said Mary Lou Fulton, Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment. 

The remaining seven Fellows will receive reporting grants of $2,000.

“We’re pleased to see the commitment of journalists and newsrooms nationwide to reporting on vulnerable children and families,” said Michelle Levander, founding director of The Fellowships. “This year has been a wake-up call in America about the disparities and discrimination in our society. Our children bear the brunt of this. These projects hold the promise of raising awareness about these critical conditions and engaging the public and policymakers. We are grateful for the generous support of The California Endowment and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.” 

Among the topics the fellows will explore in their projects are how poverty contributes to toxic stress among children in Ferguson, Missouri; how school discipline policies in the Tampa Bay area disproportionately affect African American youth; whether government inaction contributed to a cluster of devastating anencephaly cases among Latino children in Washington state; new approaches to preventing and treating child abuse and neglect; barriers to prenatal care in San Antonio; the factors behind the disproportionate representation of native Hawaiian children in Hawaii’s foster care system; and barriers to pediatric care in Florida’s new managed care system for Medicaid recipients.

Since 2005, more than 700 journalists have participated in our in-person Fellowships. Focused on the craft and content of health journalism, the program is known for its emphasis on the relationship between health and place. Past Fellowship projects can be found here

The 2015 National Fellowship is funded by generous grants from The California Endowment which works to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians and from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, whose work focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities and ensuring access to opportunity.

Here are the 2015 grantees: 

Fund for Journalism on Child Well-Being

Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Fund

2015 National Health Journalism Fellows