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Career Development: Job Postings

Job type: Freelance Position
Location: Remote
Position: Core topic leader: Health Equity
Organization: Association of Health Care Journalists
Date posted: 11/11/21

AHCJ is seeking a health equity core topic leader who will help our members understand the wide range of issues and concepts related to one of the hottest topics right now in health care in America. The core topic leader provides resources, tips, and commentaries and raises questions that deepen our members’ understanding of the myriad ways the “lens” of health equity is changing and challenging the ways health care is being envisioned and delivered in the U.S. This topic area intersects with meaty subjects like systemic racism, sexism, the climate crisis, mental and behavioral health and many others.

This year-to-year commitment includes writing blog posts for Covering Health, summarizing key issues, organizing and moderating webcasts with experts, asking other journalists to write about their work, contributing tip sheets, identifying good story examples and important events for journalists to know about. This writer will work with AHCJ's managing editor, director of content and education and director of engagement to encourage reader interaction through social media and should be willing to lead events and share knowledge at AHCJ events. The core topic leader also would be expected to coordinate with AHCJ’s other core topic leaders about coverage and collaboration.

The writer must be experienced in writing about health, linking to sources and other materials, editing and assigning work to other journalists. Additional multimedia experience is a plus, as is an existing network of journalists and experts in the health equity field.

This freelance work will pay up to $12,000 a year.

Position details

AHCJ believes there is a core set of topics that today’s health journalists need to understand to cover the beat well and has launched several core topic areas toward that effort, including this topic — health equity. These "learning centers" provide expertise in areas AHCJ feels are essential to reporting on health or health care.

Each specialty topic page includes glossaries, key concepts, reporting tip sheets, blog items, first-person stories by fellow journalists, videos, data and more. The topic home page serves as a launch pad to more resources, on healthjournalism.org and elsewhere.

The health equity core topic focuses on the complex and wide-ranging set of factors playing a part in the unequal health status of various groups. Research has shown that race, sex, 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.

The topic leader will:

  • Write a collection of concise background briefs on key concepts related to the topic.

  • Contribute at least two blog posts per month to Covering Health. Posts will highlight news developments related to the topic and how to report on them; good journalistic work being done on the topic; and resources or other tools that may help reporters advance their coverage.

  • Define key terms and concepts related to health equity to assist reporters working on deadline.

  • Find and write up descriptions of key related events, workshops, conferences, briefings, etc., to add to AHCJ's web calendar

  • Organize and moderate quarterly webcasts with experts and journalists to educate reporters on emerging issues.

  • Review suggestions from members and determine which to add to our resources and serve as a mentor or expert with whom other reporters can consult, when possible.

  • Assign first-person stories and tip sheets to be written by other journalists ("how I covered this aspect of a story") designed to help reporters work on similar or related stories.

  • Pinpoint or obtain related datasets that will allow reporters to deepen their stories and write summaries of them, suggesting best uses and possible stories.

  • Assist in setting up panels and finding speakers for AHCJ training events.

The topic leaders are expected to submit a combination of these resources monthly.

To apply

Please take a careful look at the current core topic area and think about what kinds of things you would contribute to the site on the topic of health equity. Send an email with suggestions on what you could contribute, tell us about your applicable experience and attach a résumé with story links to apply@healthjournalism.org by Dec. 15, with “health equity core topic leader” in the subject line. Applications can be addressed to the "Topic Leader Review Committee." Notes of inquiry can be sent to the same address.