Freelance reporter reveals challenges in Georgia’s inmate health care

Carolyn Crist

About Carolyn Crist

Carolyn Crist (@cristcarolyn) helps AHCJ’s freelance members find the resources, tips and contacts they need to create and run a successful business. A freelance journalist and author, Crist covers health, medicine and science stories for national news outlets such as Reuters, Runner’s World and Parade. She also writes for trade and custom publications. Contact her at carolyn@healthjournalism.org.

Max Blau

Max Blau

For more than a year, Atlanta-based freelance journalist and AHCJ member Max Blau investigated the troublesome health care delivery in jails across his state.

He filed records requests, conducted tough interviews and weaved together a series about his findings — all while reporting and writing other stories at the same time to pay his bills.

The stories appeared in the Atlanta Magazine in January 2020 and The Telegraph in Macon in December 2019 and received national attention, including mentions in Kaiser Health News and Politico’s newsletters. Since then, officials in two areas began re-examining their contracts.

Blau’s reporting was supported by the AHCJ Reporting Fellowship on Health Care Performance, funded by the Commonwealth Fund, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Known for his ability to juggle a freelance career with long-term investigative projects, Blau talks about the reporting process and filing records requests. He also offers advice to reporters, particularly freelancers, who want to tackle a similar project in their state.

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