Students from the Hugh N. Boyd Journalism Diversity Workshop at Rutgers University take turns reading the news from a teleprompter at the Asbury Park Press digital studio. Photo: Karyn Collins

PRINCETON, N.J.  — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Dow Jones News Fund to encourage health reporting in its 2020 summer high school journalism workshops.

The News Fund will award a total of $54,000 to colleges and nonprofit groups to host students from under-resourced communities or who lack access to journalism training. Special emphasis will be placed on programs that find creative ways to engage and inspire students. This includes newsroom tours, hands-on training, mentoring opportunities, public events and reporting on compelling topics with direct bearing on students’ personal health and well-being, such as climate change, gun violence, bullying, vaping, lead in paint and municipal water systems.

Students’ primary research and reporting topics could also cover health policy, vaccinations, adolescent sexuality, early childhood education, physical fitness, nutrition, poverty, income inequality, substance abuse, environmental hazards and suicide prevention. Visit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Our Focus Areas or Healthy Communities Overview for more ideas.

The News Fund will also award up to $10,000 in college scholarships to winners in a competition for best photo, video, reporting, data journalism and overall health and wellness journalism.

The News Fund created the prototype and began funding summer urban journalism workshops in 1968.

Since 2018, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has granted the News Fund $130,000 for summer journalism programs that concentrate on health and wellness topics as they teach teens to report and write for an audience, shoot and edit video and take photos. Read more about the 2019 workshops here.

For proposal guidelines and a link to the 2020 application, email Heather Taylor, manager of digital media and programs, Consultation is encouraged. The deadline is 9 a.m. Eastern time, March 6. Grantees will be notified the week of March 23.

The proposal should include a workshop theme or topic, a budget, resumes of staff and speakers, a detailed tentative schedule and an example of 2019 workshop media, if applicable.

Proposals will be evaluated against several criteria including, but not limited to, the strength of the health and wellness theme, student engagement, quality of journalism instruction, number of students, the extent of community outreach, commitment to diversity, collaboration with media and involvement by professional journalists.

About The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at