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Covering health equity is complicated, with a complex and wide-ranging set of factors playing a part in the unequal health status of various groups. Research has shown that education, income, neighborhood and social networks all play a part and it's important that health journalists understand how those elements affect the people they're covering.

A few tips and techniques can help you find new stories, sharpen and deepen your reporting and help you ask better questions of the experts you interview. You’ll learn about new research in the field, hear from experts in public health and sociology and see how other reporters incorporate information about health equity in their stories.

This site will highlight coverage, explain complicated but essential key concepts, point you to useful data, shared wisdom from fellow reporters, as well as a growing glossary of terms.

We thank the The Commonwealth Fund for the support that made this web portal possible. The organization has not directed any content on these pages, but rather has provided financial sponsorship that allows us to pay for the costs associated with collecting, writing, editing and presenting the most valuable resources we can.

Send us ideas, questions, suggestions. Share your successes. Point us to good stories. Let us know how we can be more helpful. We wish you success as you pursue one of health journalism’s core topics.

About your topic leader

Melba Newsome (@JournalistMelba) is a veteran freelance journalist from Charlotte, N.C. She has more than 20 years of experience reporting on news and general interest topics.

In the past decade, her reporting has focused primarily on education and health, with a concentration on disparities and rural health. Her health and science features have appeared in Health Affairs, Oprah, Prevention, Scientific American, Chemical & Engineering News and North Carolina Health News.

Newsome received an AHCJ Health Performance Fellowship for a project focused on the underlying racial and ethnic disparities around the opioid crisis in North Carolina and how the face of the epidemic has shifted from white to Black and brown communities.

If you have suggestions, questions or resources you’d like to share, please send them to Newsome at


Previous topic leaders Emily Willingham, Joe Rojas-Burke and Susan Heavey were instrumental in establishing and building this core topic.