Kaiser Family Foundation Launches Health News Website

Staff of 18 journalists to provide stories to nonprofit with help from partners

 Originally posted at 8:30 a.m. MT

The Kaiser Family Foundation Monday launched nonprofit, web-based health news service, www.kaiserhealthnews.org, Kaiser Health News, citing the need for major federal health care reform combined with the "turmoil" in the media industry.

A staff of 18 journalists will provide stories with the help of partners including NPR, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and New Republic.

The service will be headed by Laurie McGinley, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, and Peggy Girshman, formerly of NPR and Congressional Quarterly.

"The timing is just right for Kaiser Health News. At a time when Americans want and need more health policy news than ever, the American news media are in crisis and having difficulty providing resources for this coverage," said Leonard Downie, Jr., Washington Post V.P. at large and chair of KHN's National Advisory Committee, in announcing the news operation's launch. "Kaiser Health News is an important initiative in non-profit news reporting, which will be closely watched in the search for new models for in-depth, public service journalism."

A nonprofit model for news reporting is one of the suggestions that has been made in congressional hearings on the financial problems of newspapers and other news media.

KHN's charter is to focus on "in-depth, explanatory stories about complex health policy issues," and will include columns from contributing writers as well as video from Kaiser's broadcast studio.

All the content will be available free for use by other media outlets as well as the public.