Solutions Journalism Network Receives $122,500 Prize from CHCF

Project will encourage journalists to profile communities showing positive health results

The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) today announced that Solutions Journalism Network has won Big Data on a Local Scale, a CHCF prize available to applicants of the Knight News Challenge: Health. The network will receive $122,500 to support its work with California news outlets to promote community solutions to health problems.

An initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight News Challenge sought ideas that harness the power of data and information for the health of communities. The challenge focused on health for the first time, in collaboration with CHCF and three other health organizations.

Solutions Journalism Network, founded by writers of The New York Times “Fixes” column, is one of seven winners of the Knight News Challenge: Health, receiving $180,000 from Knight Foundation, in addition to the California-focused support from CHCF. The organization will work with at least eight newsrooms around the country and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to identify “positive deviance” in the medical sector — examples of promising community health results grounded in evidence and data.

For example, journalists in an area with large racial disparities in preterm birth rates could identify cities that have closed this gap and report on how improvements were achieved. They could also develop a curriculum for reporters and editors to understand the positive-deviant approach to data analysis and story generation. Another effort could provide expert mentors to help newsrooms develop editorial strategies.

“We are excited to be a partner in the Knight News Challenge: Health,” said Andy Krackov, senior program officer at CHCF. “County supervisors in California have expressed a need for better access to and use of health data to make effective policy decisions. The Solutions Journalism Network’s approach is just what we need to share successful strategies among communities.”

Through its Free the Data initiative, CHCF is finding ways to harness data to better inform county-level health policymaking. CHCF sponsored this accompanying challenge to address the question of how to get health data into the hands of city and county officials — and spur them to use that information to improve people’s lives.

“This collaboration reflects the benefits of knowledge-sharing and cooperation among funders with common goals,” said Michael Maness, vice president of journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation. “By focusing on the essential area of health for the first time, and connecting with experts in this area, we were able to highlight the importance of data and information to communities and people’s lives.”


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.

Contact Information:
Steven Birenbaum
Senior Communications Officer

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.