Global Health Reporting Contest

The 2017 winners attended a lively panel discussion at The New York Times. Photo: Steven Strasser

The Global Health Reporting Contest has increased the quality and quantity of health coverage on four continents by offering journalists specialized training and access to leading experts. 

Since 2014, contest entrants have produced more than 823 stories primarily on maternal and child-health issues, reaching a combined audience of at least 800 million readers, viewers and web visitors. To date, the program has recognized 16 outstanding journalists for coverage that has helped citizens in their communities.

Some highlights:

  • Shengke Gao (2015 award winner) exposed that an imported drug, Lantigen, was improperly administered to children as a vaccine. His investigation prompted the government to stop sales of the drug in China.
  • Mariana Barros (2016 award winner) reported on the growing number of infants born in her home town of Recife, Brazil with microcephaly caused by the Zika virus. In response, the local government sent out teams to eradicate mosquitoes, which spread the disease, and began offering financial assistance to affected families.

  • Zehru Nissa Shah (2017 award winner) reported on the need for free dialysis centers in Jammu and Kashmir (Northern India). As a result of her coverage, the government recently started the first affordable dialysis center in the state after years of delay. The facility is a huge help for kidney disease patients, who have been forced to sell assets or take loans to fund maintenance dialysis.

About the Contest

The contest builds on its early successes by further developing local networks of leading health reporters in Brazil, China, India, Russia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Journalists in these countries have the opportunity to participate in a 12-day study tour in the United States. They also receive cash prizes as part of regional competitions to recognize high-quality coverage of maternal and child health, as well as other urgent health matters such as diseases and vaccinations. Six winners will be selected for the program in 2018.

Johnson & Johnson sponsors the Global Health Reporting Contest.

Apply to the Contest

To qualify for the contest, stories must focus on key health topics in the journalists’ regions and published, broadcasted, or posted online in Brazil, China, India, Russia, or sub-Saharan Africa between Monday, January 1st, 2018 and Sunday, October 7th, 2018. The deadline for submitting stories is Sunday, October 7th, 2018. Applicants can apply here.

Contest topics may include (but are not limited to):

•    Reducing maternal, infant and child mortality;
•    Reducing disease transmission from mother to child;
•    Preventing malnutrition;
•    Improving delivery of care and infrastructure for maternal and child health;
•    Responses to the Ebola epidemic;
•    Innovative approaches to delivery of vaccines.

Journalists from each country must be employed by print, broadcast, or online media in order to qualify. The contest is also open to affiliated freelance journalists with a letter confirming their work by an editor. Submitted work must have appeared in a media outlet based in each region or distributed mainly in the region. Submissions will be accepted in English, French (Africa), Hindi (India), Mandarin/Cantonese (China), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia). Submissions in other languages must include an English translation. Applicants may submit more than one entry.

Program Information and Applications in Other Languages

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