The podcast series will focus on opioid prescription, addiction and the link to illegal drugs. 


The GroundTruth Project and the Northwell Health Foundation today announced the establishment of a new health reporting fellowship that will produce a podcast series exploring opioid prescriptions and addiction, the link to heroin and other illegal drugs, and what if anything can be done to manage the growing crisis.


GroundTruth supports a new generation of journalists to tell the most important stories of their generation. To carry out this reporting fellowship, GroundTruth is partnering with the Northwell Health Foundation to support research and training for a new generation of health care leaders, offering reporting fellowships to graduates of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.


“The values and the missions of The GroundTruth Project and Northwell Health Foundation are well aligned, and we are deeply appreciative of this support so we can offer an opportunity to recent graduates from CUNY’s outstanding journalism program to produce meaningful, and in-depth work,” said Charles Sennott, founder and executive director of The GroundTruth Project, a non-profit organization based at the flagship PBS station, WGBH, in Boston.


Over the next month, GroundTruth will be accepting applications for the fellowship. By early January, it will assemble a team of reporters and editors to produce a five–episode series of podcasts that will rely on narrative storytelling to assess a growing problem in the New York metropolitan area and around the nation: how overprescribed opioids, many times first prescribed in an Emergency Room or urgent care setting, have unintentionally created an addicted class that has graduated to the use of illegal drugs. The reporting will look at a complex set of questions around the issue by focusing on the stories of providers and patients, and steps being taken to correct the gaps in the health delivery system.


“Health care, and specifically emergency health care, is under enormous pressure to treat people quickly and effectively,” said Terry Lynam, senior vice president at Northwell Health. “The Hippocratic oath famously says ‘first, do no harm.’ But what if, in some instances, the desire to treat and cure is providing unintentional complications for the patient and society as a whole? How do we address that? Given the complexity of the topic, we are pleased to partner with the esteemed team of journalists from the GroundTruth Project to inform and educate the public on these matters that so closely impact our lives.”    


The reporting team will produce an in-depth multimedia report to accompany the podcast and will seek out editorial partners to expand the reach of the reporting. The fellowship will include a stipend of $5,000 for each selected reporting fellow. Beginning in January, the fellowship will be structured around a one-week workshop focused on the craft of podcasting and three weeks of reporting in the field in New York. The fellowship will be open to current students and recent graduates of CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism.


The podcasts will be produced under the editorial leadership of The GroundTruth Project, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to supporting a new generation of journalists and to upholding the highest standards of journalism.


How to apply

The deadline for applications is November 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET and winners will be announced in December. Applications should include a resume, five samples of writing, podcasting or other editorial work and a cover letter outlining the applicant’s interest in reporting on health and what approaches they feel are important in examining the Affordable Care Act. Applicants must be graduates of the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. Please send applications to: Click here to learn more about GroundTruth Fellowships.


About The GroundTruth Project: Committed to supporting and inspiring a new generation of journalists to tell the most important stories of their generation, The GroundTruth Project is based in Boston at the PBS flagship, WGBH. Since it was formally incorporated as a non-profit in 2014, GroundTruth has offered more than 100 reporting fellowships and workshops to top, emerging journalists around the world and distributes their award-winning work through editorial partnerships with PRI The World, PBS NewsHour, PBS FRONTLINE, The Atlantic, ABC News, the Huffington Post and other leading news organizations. For more GroundTruth fellowship opportunities click here.


About Northwell Health Foundation: Committed to discovery and research, high-quality patient care and training future generations of healthcare leaders, the Northwell Foundation is leading the country in transforming how to take care of patients and to keep them well. The foundation’s goal is simple: to not only raise our standard of health care but the standard of health care.The organization offers a health care network of 21 hospitals and more than 450 outpatient practices that touch more than 1.8 million people in and beyond metro New York.