Sabriya Rice (far left) and her students from the Introduction to Health and Medical Journalism class tour Piedmont Athens Regional to learn how they are preparing for the coronavirus in February 2020. McKenna Parker, the hospital's Infectious Preventionist, led the tour. (Photos: Sarah E. Freeman)
Health and Medical Journalism program to work with new Kaiser Health News Southern Bureau
Sabriya Rice, the College’s Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism, will be senior advisor for the new bureau and Andy Miller, CEO and editor of Georgia Health News, will serve as interim bureau chief.
The goal of the new bureau is to produce more journalism focusing on health, race, equity and poverty in the region.
“We are proud to be involved with the new KHN Bureau and we expect this will lead to unique experiential learning opportunities for our health and medical journalism students and those curious about the field,” Rice said.
The KHN Southern Bureau will have a home office in Atlanta and hire nine new positions to support reporting in at least five states. KHN also will work with freelancers and media partners throughout the region. This expansion brings the number of KHN regional bureaus to four – including those in California, the Midwest, and the Mountain States – in addition to the KHN national newsroom Washington D.C.
The program is expected to provide students experiential learning opportunities like assistantships and fellowships, real-time feedback on stories and assignments and the chance to publish in a national newsroom. Rice will consult with KHN on potential story ideas in the region and students will be able to participate in research and reporting capacities that enhance their classroom knowledge.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, which supports the KHN, will establish a pool of funds to be used to seek matching commitments from national, state, and regional funders throughout the South. KHN will seek to partner with local media throughout the region to produce deeply reported stories that shed light on underreported issues. The South has long fared poorly on measures of health care access and health outcomes and has been marked by chronically high rates of uninsured residents—problems linked with larger issues of politics, race, and inequality. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown such disparities into even sharper relief.
The goal is to bring the same high-quality health and health policy journalism that KHN produces elsewhere to the South, and to bring important stories from the Southern Bureau to the nation. As with all its journalism, KHN stories produced from the Southern Bureau will be made freely available for publication by media outlets throughout the region and the country and will be published on khn.org and distributed through KHN’s social media platforms.