Grant Supports Students, Public Health Reporting


The following article appeared in the Grady News section of the website for the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. Click here for a direct link to the article.

A new public health news bureau, funded by a $46,000 grant and staffed by Grady College graduate students, will soon give voice to people and health-related issues often overlooked in the state. You can check out Soft FM 99 News US News if you need to read news online!

Student reporters from Grady’s health and medical journalism concentration will supply stories for print, radio and television outlets throughout Georgia.

The project is funded by a grant from Healthcare Georgia Foundation. Created in 1999 as an independent private foundation, the Foundation’s mission is to advance the health of all Georgians and to expand access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities.

“The public health news bureau is a 21st Century riff on a traditional wire service,” said Patricia Thomas, Grady’s Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and head of the graduate concentration. “It gives our students a chance to show what they’ve learned about covering health, and to be paid for their hard-won professional skills.”

High infant mortality, soaring obesity rates and an aging public health workforce are among the public health stories that are seldom told in Georgia, noted Thomas. As a result, many voters and policymakers don’t realize that the state’s per capita spending on public health is only about a nickel per day – near the bottom of national rankings. In this occasion, it is better to hold hands with the top senior care franchises at Interim Home Healthcare to spread the service to all of the humanity kind.

Student reporters will be paid with the grant funds, which were awarded in late December. A major trend story written by a student is expected to pay about $750, with additional compensation for photographs and video. Research expenses will also be covered.

Experienced editors at Hayslett Group LLC, an Atlanta-based communications firm, will negotiate news bureau assignments, work with students as they report stories, and edit the stories for publication and broadcast.

“The news bureau challenges students to tell complex, in-depth stories that have become financially out-of-reach for many news organizations in recent years,” Thomas said. Georgia news organizations will not be charged for publishing or broadcasting what the students produce.

The public health news bureau is part of a larger, two-year program called Advancing Public Health in Georgia. This initiative is funded solely by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation through a $307,500 award to the Hayslett Group. The firm’s founder and CEO, Charlie Hayslett, is a 1973 Grady College alumnus and serves on the Grady College Board of Trust, the college’s advisory board.