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New USC Annenberg fund supports reporting on the health of California children

Application Deadline: April 16, 2012

The USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health announce a new reporting fund to support ambitious journalism on children’s health issues.

Grantees each will receive a grant of $2,000 to $5,000 to support a substantive explanatory or investigative reporting project. The journalists awarded the funds also will participate in the 2012 National Health Journalism Fellowship offered by USC Annenberg’s California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships. The California Endowment is a co-sponsor of the program.

“Our foundation’s goal in supporting these fellows is to increase awareness of issues that compromise the health and well being of children and to highlight policies that could bring about improvements,” said David Alexander, MD, president and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which funds the child health fellowships. “We know that a powerful story or series can seize the attention of those who have the ability to change policies. We appreciate the support of the California Endowment and USC Annenberg in launching this program.”

Mary Lou Fulton, Program Manager for The California Endowment, said: “We are so pleased to have the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health as our partner in the Health Journalism Fellowships Program.  Our two foundations share a commitment to improving the health of children, and this new fellowship will help shine a brighter light on this important issue through innovative and high-impact journalism projects.”

The new fellowship will award two reporting grants in 2012, and welcomes applications from professional journalists, including staff writers and broadcasters, online journalists and freelancers. Applicants need not be fulltime health reporters, but they should have a demonstrated commitment to children’s health issues and receive the bulk of their income from journalism. Applicants must produce their project for a California news outlet or a national media outlet with a significant California audience.

USC Annenberg seeks proposals for reporting projects that expose or illuminate critical health or health policy issues that affect California’s children. Proposals can focus on circumstances and conditions that impact child health, including the unique challenges confronting chronically ill children and their families; barriers to access to health care; the effects on health of environment, social class, and family circumstances; disparities in health and health care; and public policies at the federal, state, and local levels.

 “Our hope is that this reporting fund will bring many important issues to the forefront for policymakers and local communities,” said Fellowships Director Michelle Levander. “For instance, at a time when the number of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods is increasing dramatically – by 25% in the last decade – journalists can play a crucial role in documenting and exposing the health disparities that result.”

For more information, prospective applicants may go to the Fellowships’ web page for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health Journalism Fund or contact


About The USC Annenberg/California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships

Since hosting its first seminars in 2005, The Fellowships, a program funded by The California Endowment, has educated more than 500 journalists on the craft and key issues of health journalism. The program also provides mini-grants to foster coverage of health issues through the Dennis A. Hunt Health Journalism Fund and the National Health Journalism Fellowship. Its website,, is an online community of journalists, bloggers and policymakers committed to improving health and health journalism by sharing ideas and resources.

About The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health works in alignment with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the child health programs of Stanford University.  The mission of the Foundation is to elevate the priority of children’s health, and increase the quality and accessibility of children’s health care through leadership and direct investment. The Foundation is a public charity, founded in 1997.

About The California Endowment

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation that was created in 1996 as a result of Blue Cross of California’s creation of WellPoint Health Networks, a for-profit corporation. The California Endowment’s mission is 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.