Developing Health Jounrnalism Across the Commonwealth

  • Cross, Alvin (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues greatly appreciates the opportunity to continue our work to increase awareness of, and to address, the systemic issues that contribute to the poor health status of Kentuckians, and to develop leadership in journalistic coverage of health issues in all areas of the state. We propose the following grant activities: 1. Journalism: Write, edit, post and update as necessary at least 650 blog items and 100 original stories on Kentucky Health News, to be done by the Institute director, an experienced health writer working 20 to 30 hours a week, or occasionally a freelance journalist. 2. Promotion: Send to all Kentucky newspapers at least a weekly update of stories published on KHN in the previous week, with additional updates during the week as warranted. Items of national interest will also be published on The Rural Blog, another Institute publication. 3. Presentation: Regularly update the KHN website and Facebook page with significant stories of urgent or lasting interest. This work will be done by the director, the health writer or the part-time staff assistant for the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues. 4. Development: We will continue to seek other funding and partnerships for Kentucky Health News, which may come in the form of advertising, sponsorships or graduate-student support, perhaps for initiatives to expand reporting on specific issues, such as the coronavirus pandemic and rural hospitals. 5. Research: Make periodic examinations of rural newspapers and independent news sites in Kentucky, to spot trends in news coverage, find stories for possible excerption in KHN, and continue our research on the publication of health news, with particular attention to the annual County Health Rankings. If the findings warrant, we will prepare a research paper for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal. 6. Cooperation: Work with the Foundation to develop story ideas, research topics, other initiatives and outside funding for them; include newsworthy Foundation activities in Institute publications and social media, and promote Foundation activities that are beneficial to rural journalists and rural health. 7. Participation: Attend seminars, workshops, conferences and other events related to rural health, and report on them if newsworthy; at such events, advocate the role of rural journalism in improving rural health. 8. Extension: Maintain the list-serve for reporters covering health issues in Kentucky; engage with Kentucky newspaper editors to discuss and encourage health coverage; and work with Family and Consumer Sciences specialists and other units of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment in order to mutually enhance our work in promoting better health. As we discussed recently, the coronavirus pandemic has increased the need for our work. With no additional grant money available, and the College of Communication and Information facing a budget cut of nearly 11 percent, we will need to find other funding to fill this need in any meaningful way, and propose that the Foundation help us do that. But to start that process, we propose to allocate $1,000 toward freelance work. A proposed budget and justification are attached. Thanks for your support and partnership.
Effective start/end date5/1/204/30/21


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