Croakey Health Media was incorporated in 2018 as a not-for-profit public interest journalism organisation. Our membership comes from people involved in the Croakey Health Media social journalism team. We provide a range of social journalism services and related activities that are important for the health and wellbeing of people, families, communities, societies and the environment. A board elected by the members provides governance oversight.
Croakey Health Media was incorporated in order for our social enterprise to become more sustainable, to develop our governance, and to increase our impact and reach. Before incorporating, we had developed as a network of committed individuals and contributors, with an 11-year history of providing innovation and service in health journalism.
Croakey Health Media is a member of the Local and Independent News Association.
Find out more about our social journalism team here.
Please see our Strategic Plan for 2019–2022.
Also: A summary of articles and book chapters tracing Croakey’s history.
Professor Megan Williams
Professor Bronwyn Fredericks
Dr Melissa Sweet
Croakey Strategic Plan
Croakey Health Media’s Strategic Plan (2019-2022) sets out a vision for “A vigorous and sustainable public interest journalism sector contributes to the health and wellbeing of people, families, communities, policies, societies and the environment”.
Report to Stakeholders 2018-2019
Profiling innovation and developments in healthy journalism
This report showcases some highlights of our innovative model of social journalism, from our governance structures and processes, to our community engagement, and how we “do” journalism, using multiple platforms and methods – such as our walking journalism initiative, #CroakeyGO, development of Twitter Festivals, and the Croakey Conference News Service.
Croakey Stakeholders Report 2017
This report summarises our 2017 activities (including 528 articles published, 18 conferences and events covered), and also shares some of our exciting plans.
News and press releases
2022 press releases
Croakey Health Media launches funding drive (5 December, 2022).
Download press release here.
2021 press releases
New Board announced for innovative media organisation (3 November, 2021). Download press release here.
2020 press releases
Croakey Health Media: Award recognises Dr Janine Mohamed’s achievements (12 February, 2020). Download press release here. Access photographs here.
Grant to support Croakey Health Media development (28 April, 2020). Download press release here.
Investigating prisoner health in the pandemic (5 May, 2020). Download press release here.
New report shows demand for healthy public interest journalism (2 June, 2020). Download press release here.
2019 press releases
Croakey Health Media appoints inaugural Board (7 May, 2019). Download press release here.
Join the #AusVotesHealth Twitter festival: 8 May (7 May, 2019). Download press release here.
Croakey Health Media calls for protection of public interest journalism (4 July, 2019). Download press release here.
Join a #CroakeyGO for better mental health – follow #NavigatingHealth (29 July, 2019). Download press release here.
Where is the vision for sustainable public interest journalism? (18 December, 2019). Download press release here.
Our vision is for a vigorous and sustainable public interest journalism sector that contributes to the health and wellbeing of people, families, communities, policies, societies and the environment. Our purpose is to provide a range of social journalism and professional services to help enable communities, policy-makers and practitioners to improve health and wellbeing, with a determined focus on improving health equity. We take a local, regional, national and global focus. At Croakey, your privacy is critically important to us and we are committed to these principles around data collection:
- We are thoughtful about the personal information we ask you to provide and the personal information that we collect about you through the operation of our services.
- We store personal information in a CRM database only for as long as we have a reason to keep it.
- We aim to make it as simple as possible for you to control what information we keep on you, explain what we use it for, with whom we share it, and to understand how to have it permanently deleted.
- We aim for full transparency on how we gather and use your personal information.
The amount and type of information we collect depends on the context and how we use the information.
Croakey Conference News Services/ Croakey Professional Services: If you are interested in our Services, we ask for basic information such as name, organisation and email.
Newsletter subscriptions: If you are interested in our Services you may subscribe to our weekly newsletter. We ask for basic information such as your full name and email address.
Contributor: If you are a Contributor to @CroakeyNews we ask for information to sign you up as a Croakey contributor and acknowledge your contribution on our website. We also need your contact details if you accept our offer of a complimentary subscription to our weekly news bulletin, which is available to contributors
History of Croakey
The Croakey project was born out of conversations in early 2007 about mainstream media’s coverage of health issues, involving public health academic Professor Simon Chapman and journalists Melissa Sweet and Mark Ragg. Journalist Ray Moynihan was also part of these discussions at different times.
We talked about ways to create structures and processes that might enable the development of counter-narratives to the mainstream focus on medical “breakthroughs”, hospital beds, and lifestyle choices.
Chapman, who at that time wrote regularly for the Crikey e-news bulletin, picked up the phone to its publisher Eric Beecher and suggested we would set up a panel of experts to provide informed articles about topical health issues.
Melissa Sweet took on the founding and moderation of the Crikey Health and Medical Panel, as outlined in this 2009 article in The Medical Journal of Australia, CHAMP: A novel collaboration between public health and the media (abstract is free; full article is not but if you want a copy, please contact Croakey).
From mid 2007 until the end of October 2009, Crikey paid Melissa Sweet for coordinating the CHAMP. By this time, the Croakey blog had been established. Although it sat on the Crikey website, its editorial operations were run by Melissa Sweet, independently of Crikey.
When Crikey stopped its funding, the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) organised a consortium of organisations to help fund the Croakey project (see here for more details).
Melissa Sweet was the founding moderator of Croakey and ran it by herself until late 2012, when health policy consultant and analyst Jennifer Doggett came on board to help with moderation, as did health consultant Michelle Culhane-Hughes in early 2013. In August 2013, journalist and editor Marie McInerney joined the Croakey collective (former Fairfax journalist Mark Metherell was also briefly involved).
In mid-2013, the Sax Institute launched a probono contribution, The Health Wrap, which is compiled every fortnight by experienced health and medical journalist/editor Kellie Bisset and her colleagues.
Many others have also contributed to various projects with Croakey, including Kelly Briggs, Dr Justin Coleman, Summer May Finlay, Dr Lynore Geia, El Gibbs, Dr Tim Senior and the many who have reported for the Croakey Conference News Service.
The Croakey contributors’ list includes more than 250 people who want to help contribute to a more informed and wide-ranging public debate about health issues.
In June 2015, the Croakey project won a $5,000 grant from the Walkleys Grants for Innovation in Journalism which was used to fund the redevelopment of Croakey as this standalone platform. We acknowledge and thank the Walkleys Foundation and the sponsors of these grants. We also acknowledge and thank the team at Crikey who have previously hosted us.
We hope that having a standalone platform will enable us to provide a better service to our readers, contributors and funders, and that it will enable us to continue developing and hopefully also to become more financially sustainable.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions for how we can continue to develop and improve.
On 24 August 2018, Croakey Health Media Ltd was registered as the holding company for all the Croakey services: croakey.org, Croakey Conference News Services, Croakey Professional Services and all our ad hoc projects. By professionalising Croakey, we look to make it a financially sustainable entity with a momentum greater than any one of us.
• The National Library of Australia archives Croakey for its PANDORA project.