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Peggy Girshman Fellowship

Posted: April 11, 2024

Position Summary:

KFF is the independent source for health policy research, polling, and journalism. news. Our mission is to fill the need for trusted information on national health issues with a focus on how health policy affects people. KFF is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

KFF is seeking a reporting fellow who will work as an audio-first journalist, helping to expand our offering of news spots and features for KFF Health News’ broadcast partners including CBS News Radio, NPR, and Marketplace.

 

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

KFF’s award-winning newsroom covers all aspects of the American health-care system and examines how health issues impact people’s lives. Our articles are distributed at no cost to other news organizations that want up-to-date, reliable stories about the business, policies, and politics of the US health-care system.

Our journalism seeks to expand Americans’ knowledge of their health care and the people, companies, and institutions responsible for providing it, particularly for diverse populations and in parts of the country ill served by local news and declining coverage of state capitals.

KFF Health News is one of three major KFF operating programs, along with Health Policy and Polling and Survey Research, and a critical part of KFF’s role as an information organization. 

We are looking for someone who can report and write perceptive stories on health policy and the health care industry, with an emphasis on diverse and underserved communities. You will help audiences understand how health policy does — or doesn’t — work in America.

A deep knowledge of the health care system is NOT a prerequisite, though some familiarity will help. What is essential? Curiosity, passion, and a willingness to pursue and generate a steady stream of great stories.

The ideal candidate is an audio-journalism native who understands that digital stories often have their own needs and entry points, but that every story — whatever the medium — needs a compelling, clear nut graf.

By the end of the fellowship you’ll be a pro, producing regular 3:45 audio features, delivering a 45-second newscast spot for each, and filing a companion digital story.

In KFF’s newsroom, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most experienced and admired health care journalists in the nation, who are ready to offer gracious guidance. You will collaborate with them on occasion, but most often you’ll generate, report, and write your own stories.

This fellowship was established in March 2016 to honor the late Peggy Girshman, a founding executive editor in the newsroom. It is designed for early-career journalists with an interest in health policy.

Other Responsibilities Include:

  • Produce two originally reported stories each month = audio + digital package.
  • Develop and voice a weekly package for the KFF Health News Minute, sometimes based on your own reporting, other times based on your colleagues’ work.
  • Offer occasional audio-production tips and basics to your digital-first colleagues.
  • Join teammates in podcast production and development, as needed.

 

Minimum Desired Qualification, Skills, and Experience:

  • Authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Two-plus years’ reporting experience, preferably some experience covering health issues.
  • Experience gathering broadcast-quality audio.
  • Beginning proficiency with an audio-editing workstation such as Pro Tools, Audition, or Descript.
  • An established fact-checking practice that allows you to feel confident in the accuracy of your work before you pass it on to your editor.
  • Ability to write with voice and personality when a story calls for it.
  • Willingness to hear and offer diplomatic and constructive critique.

This full-time position will preferably be based in KFF’s Washington, D.C., office, located downtown near Metro Center. KFF is currently working a hybrid schedule and requires all staff to work in the office a minimum of two days a week.

 

Compensation:

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications. Compensation includes an outstanding benefits package equivalent in value to approximately fifty percent of base salary including a generous and immediately vested defined contribution plan and zero-premium health coverage.

The annual salary range for the Peggy Girshman Fellow position is between $70,000 and $83,200. Our job titles and salary ranges may span more than one career level, and the salary offered to a candidate will be determined based on factors such as the scope and responsibilities of the position, job-related knowledge and skill set, depth of experience, certifications and/or degrees, and our practice of upholding salary equity within the organization.

 

How to Apply:

If this position is of interest to you, and you have the requisite experience and qualifications, please click the button to apply. In your cover letter, please share a short pitch for a story package: outline an idea for a super-spot-length audio piece (2:30) plus an accompanying 800-word digital article. Your idea can be sourced locally but with a focus that makes it of interest to national audiences. In your pitch, include any elements you’d prepare for a story-shaping meeting with the assigning editor.

Include links to at least two samples of your audio work and indicate your role in the piece: Writer? Tape collector? Mix engineer?

We also want to know why you're the ideal candidate for the fellowship and someone we’ll want to offer a job extension to at the end of Year 1. We’re excited to hear from you.

KFF has an efficient applicant review process and will contact candidates who have applied for this position and whose qualifications most closely fit the criteria for the job. No phone inquiries, please.

KFF requires all employees to be up to date on their covid-19 vaccinations.

It is the policy of KFF to actively promote a diverse and inclusive workplace in every respect, and to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees in every phase of employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, political affiliation, arrest or conviction records, or other categories protected under the law.

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