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Career Development: Job Postings

Job type: Freelance Position
Location: Remote
Position: Core topic leader: Health Reform
Organization: Association of Health Care Journalists
Date posted: 04/05/21

AHCJ's health reform core topic leader's job is to help you untangle the wide range of concepts included in the implementation of health care reform. It is put together by journalists for journalists. We hope to provide resources and tips and commentaries and questions that will help deepen your understanding of the federal legislation, provide context for the decisions your state is making about implementation, and explore how reform, as well as parallel changes in the private sector, are affecting doctors, nurses, hospitals and other health care providers, as well as patients and families. 

This year-to-year commitment would include writing blog posts for Covering Health, summarizing key issues, webcasting short interviews with top experts, asking other journalists to write about their work and contribute tip sheets, identifying good story examples and important dates for journalists. This writer would work with AHCJ's web editor to encourage reader interaction through social media and should be willing to share knowledge at AHCJ events. The core topic leader also would be expected to coordinate with the other core topic leaders when their topics overlap.

The writer must be experienced in writing about health for the web, 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 will need to master to cover the beat well and has launched several core topic areas toward that effort. These "learning centers" are expertise areas we feel 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 reform 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 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 champion will:

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

  • Contribute at least one blog post a week to Covering Health. Posts will point out good journalistic work being done on the topic, resources or other things that would be help to reporters advance their coverage

  • Define key terms and concepts related to health information technology to assist reporters 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 for other reporters to consult

  • 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 turn in these resources on a monthly basis.

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 April 23, with “Health Reform 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.