Got a Great Idea for a COVID-19 project? Let us fund it!

When the breaking news around the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, it will be important for journalists to step back and take a deeper look at how it laid bare the effects of pervasive inequality in the United States and how resources were allocated during the crisis. Through its 2020 National Fellowship, the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism will help 20 competitively selected journalists around the country understand and chronicle how COVID-19 disproportionately impacted already disadvantaged communities and vulnerable children and families.
The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism has reframed our annual National Fellowship, now in its 13th year, to focus on our traditional themes -- the health, welfare and well-being of vulnerable children, youth, families and communities -- as seen through a COVID-19 lens. We’ll be taking a close look at the racial, ethnic and geographic disparities that are emerging as more data come in.
And we’re moving the Fellowship to an online platform, as we did for our successful California Fellowship in March. Fellowship sessions will be held for five hours a day, plus four monthly virtual sessions of 2-3 hours each. As usual, each Fellow will receive a reporting grant of $2,000-$10,000 and six months of expert mentoring. And five Fellows will receive supplemental grants of up to $2,000 for community engagement, as well as specialized mentoring.
When: July 20-24, 2020 (plus four monthly virtual sessions of 2-3 hours each)
Where: Online
Deadline to Apply: May 26, 2020
Based at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism, the National Fellowship is open to print, broadcast and multimedia journalists from around the country. The Fellowship is appropriate not only for health reporters, but for all reporters with an interest in social issues, whether they're investigative, education, government, environment, criminal justice, social services or immigration specialists or general assignment reporters.
About two-thirds of the 20 Fellows will receive grants of $2,500-$10,000 from one of two specialty reporting funds -- the Dennis A. Hunt Journalism Fund and the Fund for Journalism on Child and Youth Well-being -- plus mentoring,to support the reporting of ambitious investigative or explanatory projects over six months. The rest of the National Fellows will receive grants of $2,000.
The Hunt Fund will support reporting that examines the successes and challenges of health care reform or the effects of a specific factor or confluence of factors on community health, such as the coronavirus epidemic, poverty, ethnic or racial disparities, pollution, violence, land use and access to health care or food.
The Child and Youth Well-being Fund will support investigative or explanatory reporting on the impact of poverty, trauma, adversity -- or the coronavirus epidemic -- on children and youth and their families, as well as the effectiveness of public and private agencies dedicated to protecting them.
The National Fellowship grants can be used to defray reporting-related costs such as travel, data set acquisition and analysis, translation services, community engagement strategies, multimedia enhancements and a journalist's otherwise uncompensated time. Preference is given to applicants who propose co-publication or co-broadcast in both mainstream and ethnic media.
For more information, visit the Center for Health Journalism website or email program consultant Martha Shirk at To improve your prospects for success, we strongly recommend that you discuss your project idea with us in advance of applying.
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