Help us shine a light on health justice

Do you believe journalism can bring about change? Do you want to be part of that?

The Global Health team at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism is launching a new project to investigate health justice issues, and we’re looking for people to be part of a brand new reporting initiative: our Health Justice Hub.

The hub members will form a special advisory group to help inform our investigations and deepen their impact. We want to recruit people from across the globe, with different types of backgrounds and expertise – people whose knowledge and perspectives can strengthen our reporting and ensure it is useful in the real world.

Why health justice?

If coronavirus has highlighted one thing, it’s how unequal access to healthcare is, both within a particular country and between different countries across the globe.

We’ve decided to focus our next series of global health stories on health justice. We want to investigate how longstanding systems and structures that perpetuate discrimination – such as racism, ableism, ageism and misogyny – affect people’s health and their access to quality treatment. Through cross-border, global investigations we seek to both highlight health inequalities and potential means to reduce or remove them.

Why an international hub?

Global health journalism can be an exclusive and extractive process: it’s not uncommon for Western opinions to be privileged over local voices, for those affected by the stories to be cut out of them completely, or for little or no thought given to how an investigation might be most useful to those who really need it. We want to change that.

We recognise that if our journalism is going to be truly impactful in helping to facilitate change then we need to involve different communities of experience and expertise from the very start of our reporting.

We want to bring together a group of 12-14 people from across the world, with a wide range of different perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences, to help inform our cross-border health justice investigations and construct new ways of working together.

What will it involve?

The group will meet online four times over the course of 2021, with each session between two and three hours long.

The first session is scheduled for 21 January 2021 and is an opportunity to get to know each other, think about what kind of health justice journalism the team could do, and brainstorm potential story ideas.

As the year progresses, the hub will be a sounding board for our investigations as they progress – contributing thoughts on how we could approach our reporting, perspectives we might not have considered and ideas for who we could collaborate with. Crucially, you will help us map out how we can make sure our stories help to drive change.

What’s in it for you?

We do not want this hub to be a one-way street; we want the participants to get just as much out of it as we do. Our aim is that the people in the hub are the same people who can benefit from our journalism – and that by advising us along the way, you will ensure our journalism is as beneficial as possible. The hub will help us ensure the evidence and experiences we gather are published and disseminated in inclusive, accessible and useful ways.

This is an opportunity to help shape public interest health journalism and start to counter its traditional power dynamics. Participants will not have any editorial control, but your perspectives, knowledge and experiences will inform and enrich our reporting throughout the process.

By bringing together participants from across the world, we also hope this is a space for people to connect, build relationships and platform each other’s work.

Who can apply?

Anyone! The only requirements are that you care about health justice, are interested in how communities can improve journalism and how journalism can equip communities, and are committed and able to attend the group’s remote sessions.

There is no ‘right’ background for this group. We are less interested in the specific job you do and more in the person you are, the passion you have for this issue, and the open and constructive attitude you would bring to this kind of collaboration. So whether you’re a global health specialist, someone with personal experience of health injustice, a legal or medical professional or a creative practitioner, we’d love to hear from you!

We want this group to be as accessible as possible. Support can be made available for those who need it to take part.

How do I get involved?

To apply you need to be available to commit to joining the first session on 21 January 2021 and, in principle, the following three sessions over the course of the year.

If you can’t commit to the full project but want to get involved by coming to one of the sessions, please still get in touch.

The deadline for applications is 7 December 2020.

To apply, simply fill in this form.

If you have any concerns, requirements or questions at all, please feel free to contact Ben du Preez at [email protected].

Thank you!

The Bureau’s Global Health team,

Ben, Chrissie, Madlen and Rosa

Header image: An illustration of a video conferencing meeting. Credit: Getty Images

This blog is part of our Global Health project, which has a number of funders including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. None of our funders have any influence over the Bureau’s editorial decisions or output.

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