A record 100 journalists applied for the seventh
annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism—and
two of them were Pulitzer Prize winners. The fellowships are part
of an international effort by the Carter Center to reduce the stigma
against people with mental illnesses and counter the often incorrect
and stereotypical information provided through the media.
“Informed journalists can have a significant impact upon public
understanding of mental health issues, as they shape debate and
trends with the words and pictures they convey,” said Carter,
former first lady and wife of former President Jimmy Carter. “They
influence their peers and stimulate discussion among the general
public, and an informed public can reduce stigma and discrimination.”
The 2003–04 fellows are:
Chan, reporter, Washington Post.
His project will examine the District of Columbia’s efforts
to build a stronger, community-based system of care for children
with mental illnesses.
• Gail Fisher,
senior photo editor, Los Angeles Times. Using
video and still cameras, she will explore and document how a family
copes with a loved one diagnosed with a mental illness.
Heldman, freelance journalist, Brooklyn, N.Y. He
will write a series of articles exploring the mental health concerns
of the critically ill and their caretakers.
• Wray Herbert, assistant managing editor, U.S. News &
World Report. This project will explore how
workers with mental disabilities are being treated under the Americans
with Disabilities Act.
Holman, freelance journalist, Durham, N.C. She will
write an extended article on how children of parents diagnosed with
schizophrenia have fared as a result of living with, and caring
for, a loved one with a mental illness.
Klein, producer, CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”
He will produce a documentary exploring the effects of trauma with
Holocaust survivors and those left behind by Holocaust survivors’
• Noel O’Hare,
freelance journalist, Wellington, New Zealand. He
will publish stories that consider the issues affecting the mental
health of migrants in New Zealand.
• Alex Spense,
freelance journalist, Auckland, New Zealand. He
will investigate the relationship between mental illnesses and poverty
in New Zealand.
Each domestic fellow receives $10,000 to study a particular issue
within the mental health field for one year. The fellows convene
at the Carter Center to meet with Rosalynn Carter, the center’s
Mental Health Task Force, and the fellowship advisory board to discuss
planned topics of study and present their projects to the same group
a year later.
Past fellows have published newspaper articles, produced television
documentaries and written books. Their projects have garnered awards
from the National Mental Health Association and Amnesty International,
as well as Emmy award nominations and two nominations for the Pulitzer
Prize. Most recently, a fellow’s documentary was recognized
by the Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Please visit www.cartercenter.org
for more information on the fellows and their projects.