Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

KFF’s Kaiser Health News (KHN) received the Loeb Award in the audio category with the radio show “This American Life” for in-depth coverage of threats and hate against local public health officials during the covid-19 pandemic.

KHN’s coverage of public health issues will remain a newsroom priority long after the threat of the new coronavirus has subsided. KFF will announce new partnerships and public health reporting initiatives in the coming months.

In “We’re Here for You: A Year of Threats and Threats for Public Health Officials,” the two news organizations document how health officials became the voice of local government authorities, through Santa Cruz County, California The footage shows how they became targets of anger and resentment by loose militias and white nationalist groups. The county, though widely regarded as liberal and progressive, has escalated a litany of threats, including the cold-blooded killing of a sheriff. Upending the lives of health leaders trying to respond to the coronavirus.

KHN senior reporter Anna Maria Barry-Jester tells the story of Santa Cruz County health officer Dr. Gail Newel and her boss, Mimi Hall, that turned vitriolic and intimidating. Their routines have changed to include security patrols, surveillance cameras and, in some cases, personal firearms.

This is KHN’s first collaboration with “This American Life”. Listen to the “This American Life” audio story called “The Herd” here. And read KHN’s accompanying digital story here.

Established in 1957, the Loeb Prize is considered the most prestigious honor in business and financial journalism and is administered by the G. and R. Loeb Foundation Inc. and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. This is KHN’s third Loeb Award.

About KFF and KHN

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that provides in-depth news on health issues. Along with policy analysis, opinion polls and survey research, and social impact media, KHN is one of the four operating programs of the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is a donating non-profit organization that provides information on health issues to the state.

About American Life

This American Life is an award-winning weekly public radio show and podcast hosted by Ira Glass. Two million listeners tune in each week on more than 500 public radio stations in the United States, and another 2.8 million download each episode as a podcast. The show was produced in partnership with WBEZ Chicago and delivered to stations by the public broadcasting exchange PRX.