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Monday, May 8, 2023


Rachael Shackelford | [email protected]

Lison Joseph will lead the expansion of STAT’s reporting on the intersection of race, science, and medicine

BOSTON — Lison Joseph will be joining STAT as its first equity editor, where he will oversee the newsroom’s diversity and equity coverage and be a critical editorial voice to advance race-related reporting, it was announced today.

An experienced journalist whose career spans traditional and nonprofit newsrooms, Joseph comes to STAT from the nonprofit GroundTruth Project, where he led a collaboration of Black-owned newsrooms. Previously, he spent time at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Dallas Morning News, and the Lancaster Newspapers in Pennsylvania. As equity editor, Joseph will drive STAT’s efforts to be the most diverse media company covering the life sciences and health care, and help guide coverage of issues at the intersection of race and science and medicine. He will play a key role on the editing team, making editorial decisions and supervising reporters while also building a diverse team of journalists.

“We are thrilled to have Lison join the team to help us stretch even more in our reporting, but to also help us hire and retain staff from underrepresented communities who share our same mission,” said Rick Berke, STAT co-founder and executive editor. “STAT is here to make a mark in health, science, and medical reporting, and our commitment to diversity and equity is a part of what makes us stand out.’’

Today also marks the beginning of season 2 of Color Code, an award-winning podcast that focuses on race and medicine. The first season has already drawn significant notice; it won first place in the podcast category of the WAN-IFRA North American Digital Media Awards and was a finalist for the Editor & Publisher EPPY Awards. Hosted by award-winning journalist Nicholas St. Fleur, the second season explores the concept of how where we live impacts our health. The first episode looks at the intersection of segregation and suburban health on Long Island, N.Y. — where Nick grew up.

STAT has been honored a number of times for its coverage of race-related health issues. Most recently, Angus Chen and St. Fleur were honored with the American Association for Cancer Research’s 2023 June L. Biedler Prize for Cancer Journalism, for their stories on breaking barriers between cancer research and Black patients and the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman and colorectal cancer’s impact on younger men, respectively.

Joseph, reflecting on his new position, said, “Health inequities faced by communities of color are real, deadly, and deserve urgent attention. Already, STAT has set a high bar for inclusive journalism by aggressively covering issues at the intersection of race and medicine. I’m excited to help deepen its reporting on health disparities affecting historically marginalized communities and explore new ways to champion diversity and equity in the newsroom.”

Since its inception, STAT has prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion both in its reporting and within its newsroom, and has invested in substantial content and initiatives to advance DEI, including:

  • A robust volunteer DEI Committee, which is preparing to publicly release its inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Report, providing a transparent and detailed look at diversity and inclusion at STAT since its founding.
  • Usha Lee McFarling, STAT’s national science correspondent, has for two years broadly examined health inequities. She has exposed how systemic racism and injustice permeates medicine and showed the often-subtle ways medicine discriminates, why racial and ethnic disparities in care and outcomes persist, and the consequences for patients and society.
  • The Sharon Begley Science Reporting Fellowship, a yearlong program for early-career journalists from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who are pursuing a career in science journalism.

St. Fleur, a co-chair of STAT’s DEI Committee, said, “We’re thrilled to have Lison join STAT and serve as a partner to the DEI Committee. Our volunteer group has made great strides this past year. But with his help, we can further hold STAT accountable to its goal of being the most diverse news organization covering the life sciences and health care. I am also excited to see how Lison will use his breadth of editing experience to bring a health equity lens to every facet of STAT’s journalism. For years, our reporting has highlighted health equity issues gripping the country and the world. But we can do so much more.’’

STAT is able to create this position with a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Joseph will join STAT on Tuesday, May 16.


About STAT

Founded in 2015, STAT is a global digital media brand that focuses on delivering fast, deep, and tough-minded journalism about the life sciences industries to over 6 million monthly site visitors and an additional 20 million readers on the Apple News app. STAT takes you inside academic labs, biotech boardrooms, and political backrooms, casting a critical eye on scientific discoveries, scrutinizing corporate strategies, and chronicling the roiling battles for talent, money, and market share. With an award-winning newsroom, STAT provides indispensable insights and exclusive stories on the technologies, personalities, power brokers, and political forces driving massive changes in the life sciences industry — and a revolution in human health.

STAT’s main newsroom is located in Boston, with bureaus in Washington, New York City, London, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.