The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism is offering up to three community engagement grants to 2020 Data Fellows. Each grantee will receive $1,000 to $2,000 to support their community engagement efforts, as well as mentoring on engagement strategies over six months. Interested reporters can learn more about the grant program by reading this blog postPlease note: only California Data Fellows can apply for a grant. 

We have piloted these efforts with reporters from all over the country with exciting results. Past projects include: using local news call-outs and asking and answering community questions to help people learn how to protect their health on bad air days; creating a Facebook group and hosting a series of Instagram Live chats to pass the mic to Black parents and birth workers to discuss what care should look like for Black, birthing parents; designing powerful conversations to help a rural community talk about suicide; using snail mail and hosting community listening sessions to help older adults and their caregivers curb elder abuse.

Please click SUBMIT when you're done.

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* 1. What is your name?

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* 2. What is your media outlet?

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* 3. What community (most affected by the issues of your reporting) will you focus on for your engagement project? Be specific.

How will this community shape your reporting? Here are some common approaches. 
  • Crowdsourcing stories and voices to help you find sources or fill info gaps. Examples: KVPR’s on-air call-out about living in an area with a physician shortage. 
  • Asking and answering questions from the community that guide your reporting and their lives. Example: The SLO Tribune collaborated with the SLO Promotores to text JPEGs to tenants of a renters' rights guide about evictions and paying rent during the COVID-19 outbreak. The Desert Sun used a Google Form to source audience questions about homelessness.  
  • Learning how people get and share information to help inform your project and share back what you learn. Examples: SF Weekly partnered with El Tecolote, San Francisco's bilingual (Spanish/English) newspaper to co-publish reporting and do a call-out for stories and questions from Healthy San Francisco users. The Wild Rivers Outpost created a Facebook group to start a conversation around food insecurity and sovereignty. 
  • Partnering with a community member(s) to co-report a story. Example: Almanac reporter Kate Bradshaw collaborated with high school students to design a questionnaire and interview over 100 community members about neighborhood health. 
  • Inviting a community member(s) to tell their own stories to deepen and contextualize your reporting. Example: NATAL podcast's community blog and #NATALChats series on Instagram Live. The Denver Post's teen essay contest about mental health and youth suicide. 
  • Forming an advisory group made of up of community members to shape your journalism. Example: The Mighty's advisory group on mental health parity is meeting once a month over Zoom to help guide the reporting and design an informational resource for patients and therapists. 
  • Facilitating a listening session with community members to learn more about your topic and inform the reporting. Example: TimesOC is hosting listening sessions over Zoom to learn what culturally appropriate/sensitive care should look like for the Southeast Asian American community in Orange County and Long Beach. 

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* 4. This is your chance to tell us about your engaged journalism idea. Your approach will need to answer two questions: How will the impacted community meaningfully shape the journalism, and how will the journalism have meaning out in community? 

Tell us how you’ll engage people throughout the lifecycle of your project. How will people participate before you begin reporting, during your reporting process, afterwards and beyond? Who is going to help you do this and what ways might you collaborate? Name those individuals and institutions — schools, neighborhood groups, community organizers, houses of worship, etc.

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* 5. We can offer engagement grants of $1,000 to $2,000. Specify how much you are seeking and tell us how you would spend it. Write a sample budget, if you can.

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* 6. How might engagement contribute to the impact of your journalism that it might not have otherwise? Read how reporters Mackenzie Mays and Priska Neely paired community collaborations with reporting to create impact.

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* 7. What commitment can your newsroom and editors make in support of this project? If you’re a freelancer, please summarize any discussions you’ve had with your sponsoring media outlet about what support it can provide.

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* 8. If your newsroom already has an engagement team, how will this grant help you go above and beyond existing programs? 

Thank you. We will announce the recipients of these grants before the Fellowship convenes in December. 

Please click SUMBIT to complete your application.

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