Kaiser Foundation launches news service

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is launching an independent news service to report on the U.S. health-care system and related policy debates.

Kaiser Health News, which is slated to start in early 2009, aims to report on health topics that are getting less media coverage due to the economic downturn.

Matt James, the foundation’s senior vice president for media and public education, will oversee the news service.

The service will demonstrate that the nonprofit sector “can play a unique role in making sure that the public has continued access to in-depth reporting on complex policy issues,” James says in a statement.

Its budget will be in the range of $3 million to $4 million annually, he says.

The Washington, D.C.-based news service will be headed by Laurie McGinley, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and former national health-care policy correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and Peggy Girshman, an Emmy-winning editor and producer and former managing editor at National Public Radio.

The foundation’s online health-policy information service, http://khn.org/, will be merged into Kaiser Health News.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-partisan foundation dedicated to conducting and communicating research on health issues.

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