The Health Coverage Fellowship is designed to help newspaper, radio, television, and online reporters and editors do a better job covering critical health care issues. Each year twelve journalists are selected from across the country for an intensive nine days and nights of training.
The fellowship focuses on issues ranging from public health and mental health to covering the uninsured, controlling skyrocketing costs, and upgrading quality. More than 80 speakers participate each year, including top health officials, policy experts, and researchers. The program also brings its journalists into the field to watch first-hand how the system works, from walking the streets at night with mental health case workers to riding in a Medflight helicopter.
The fellowship, which is in its twenty-second year, is housed at Babson College’s Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, and is sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in collaboration with other Foundations. The fellowship is directed by Larry Tye, a former Nieman fellow who covered health and the environment for 15 years at the Boston Globe and has written seven books.
The program continues after fellows return to their stations and papers. For the following year, fellows attend half-day follow-up sessions and continue to consult with Tye on story ideas, source suggestions, and general mentoring.
The Health Coverage Fellowship differs in key ways from other journalism fellowship programs. Most take seasoned journalists away from their jobs for a full year, require employers to pay part of the cost, and do little practical training. The residential part of the Health Coverage Fellowship lasts just nine days, the program requires no financial contribution from media outlets, and the training ensures that reporters and editors come back with a list of story ideas and an address book full of new sources.
For more information, contact Larry Tye at [email protected].