About us

PGN is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to accurate health news.

Our mission is simple: We partner with trusted local voices throughout the U.S. to distribute accessible health news to the people who need it most.  

Why? Because as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, access to fact-based health news can mean the difference between life and death. And because the erosion of trust in science and shared facts is a threat to our democratic way of life.  

We serve communities by explaining what they need to know about health and why they need to know it. We also share resources about what to do with the news, further empowering readers to act on the information they receive. Finally, community partners provide on-the-ground intel about the needs of their audiences, helping to shape future PGN stories.   

Are you a community-based organization that wants to deliver health news to your followers through social media? See our partner page here.

Our audience-first approach: 

  • We respect your time. 
  • We avoid jargon and explain complex health topics in an approachable way. 
  • We view journalism as a service. 
  • We highlight subject-matter experts. 
  • We deliver facts with accuracy and context. PGN follows the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

Our guiding beliefs: 

  • Public health is vital to protect communities. News about public health must be communicated clearly and adapted to local contexts. 
  • Misinformation is an existential threat to democracy. 
  • Racism and violence are public health crises. 
  • There aren’t “two sides” to a science story. Instead, we believe in scientific consensus, and we take a “weight-of-evidence” or “weight of experts” approach, looking to peer-reviewed research, scientific organizations, and reputable sources to accurately report on how much agreement exists among scientists on a topic. 
  • Politics affects public health. Communities deserve to know how. 
  • Human activity is driving climate change.

Republish our stories

In an effort to provide accurate health news to as many people as possible, PGN encourages other news organizations and publications to republish our content for free. Unless otherwise noted, we share all stories and photographs produced by PGN staff under a Creative Commons license.

In order to republish our stories, please do the following:

  • Stories must credit PGN. Please include a byline credit with the reporter’s name and PGN (for example, “Sara Polsky, PGN”) and a line at the top of the story that reads, “This story was originally published by PGN,” where PGN is hyperlinked to the publicgoodnews.com version of the story. If possible, download a high-resolution .pgn file of our logo and include it in republished stories. 
  • Stories must be republished in their entirety. Preserve all story hyperlinks, including links to PGN newsletters and any other PGN calls to action. You may not edit our content except for minor updates to time and location references or editorial style. 
  • Please tag PGN when sharing our stories on your social media accounts.
  • If possible, please share traffic and engagement information with us after the story is published on your site. This helps us better understand which topics resonate with readers.

Can I alter or edit stories? 

Don’t change anything significant. Articles must be republished in their entirety. It’s okay to change references to time (“yesterday” to “today”) or location (“Iowa City, IA” to “here”). If you believe additional localized copy changes would be beneficial, please contact us directly and we can discuss the change. We must approve the change before it goes live. Do not translate our stories into another language without our permission. 

Can PGN material appear on pages with ads?

Yes, it’s fine for our stories to be used in print or online pages that have advertising, but you may not sell advertisements on behalf of PGN. 

Can I use your photos and illustrations? 

Images may be available for republication for noncommercial purposes for use only with the original story with which the image was published. Photos from stock sites like Getty Images or Shutterstock can be republished as long as PGN is also credited. PGN also has an in-house design team that frequently produces custom illustrations and photo work. Generally, if an image or photo credits PGN as the image source, you can republish that image with the original story as long as you credit PGN. The best way to confirm that an image is available for use with the original story is to contact us at info@publicgoodnews.com

What are the requirements for republishing photos?

When using our images, you need to:

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and/or PGN in the caption. 
  • Do not alter images.
  • Use images only in the context of the original story.

Can I use PGN data visualizations and graphics? 

Usually, yes. We can provide embed codes, images, or raw data files. Contact us with any request. 

Do I need to tell PGN if I’ve republished your content? 

No, but it’d be great if you did. Please email us at info@publicgoodnews.com.

Who we are

Megan Barber: Founder and Editor-in-chief

With over a decade of experience in print and digital journalism, most recently at Vox Media and New York Magazine, Megan has covered a range of beats and is passionate about making complicated health topics more approachable to communities. A former Fulbright and Mellon scholar, Megan received her Master’s and PhD in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sara Polsky: Founder and Executive Editor

Sara Polsky is an editor, journalist, and novelist based in New York City. She began her career reporting for community newspapers, and her work has also appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and Curbed, where she developed an award-winning features program. She has a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Adriana Díaz: Senior Editorial Manager, Partnerships 

Adriana is a cultural worker, communications strategist, and journalist. Adriana works to shine a light on community narratives of resilience, healing, and health as an organizing strategy toward social change, justice, and freedom. Adriana boasts more than 20 years of professional experience in nonprofits, radio, community-driven journalism, and youth advocacy. They bring their lived experience—as a queer, neurodivergent, adult child of Mexican immigrant parents living joyfully in recovery—to all they do. Adriana holds a B.A. from DePaul University and an M.S.J. from Northwestern University.

Valeria Ricciulli: Social Media Journalist 

Valeria is a bilingual New York City-based writer and reporter, originally from Colombia. She’s passionate about service journalism and highlighting voices in communities of color. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, Curbed, Eater, and Teen Vogue. At PGP and PGN, she writes in both English and Spanish about public health and vaccine misinformation. She holds a B.A. from Manhattanville College and an M.S. in media management from The New School. 

Kristine Liao: Health and Science Reporter 

Kristine is a New York City-based journalist who is passionate about global health, the environment, and exposing inequities. In addition to writing, she is also skilled in data analysis and visualization. Throughout her career, Kristine has worked on multiple award-winning projects and her writing has appeared in Popular Science, Global Citizen, and Audubon magazine. She holds a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in international studies from Northwestern University.

Aisha Abdullah: Science Writer 

Aisha Abdullah is a San Antonio-based writer with a diverse background in science communication, education, and academic research. She has nearly a decade of experience demystifying science for people of all ages and backgrounds. Aisha received a PhD in neuroscience from Weill Cornell Medical College, where she discovered a passion for making science accessible. She writes about misinformation, conspiracy theories, and myths related to vaccines and infectious diseases.

Alma Campos: Writer, Misinformation and Global Health 

Alma is a bilingual journalist, editor, and translator from Chicago originally from Mexico. She writes about misinformation and global health for PGN. Alma has experience writing both longform narratives and breaking news stories. She has written for PBS, Univision, South Side Weekly, City Bureau, Crain’s, and the Institute for Nonprofit News on immigrant communities, the environment, and global issues. An honors student in university, Alma earned a B.A. in English and a minor in philosophy from Chicago State.

Ashley McCalla: Editorial Manager 

Ashley is a project manager with extensive experience in field and program operations. She coordinates all PGN editorial operations and works cross-functionally to ensure that the department runs smoothly. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Ashley holds a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification and is a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification candidate.

Maya Greenstein: Associate Editor  

Maya is a copywriter and editor with experience in health topics ranging from childhood obesity to the opioid epidemic. She graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a degree in psychology and studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

Editorial policy, transparency, and funding

PGN was founded by staff from The Public Good Projects (PGP), a public health nonprofit that specializes in health communications. PGP has been supporting journalists and providing community-based organizations with timely health information for several years. As part of PGP’s work with The Rockefeller Foundation’s Equity-First Vaccination Initiative (EVI)—a year-long demonstration project to increase vaccine confidence among BIPOC communities—PGP determined the urgent need for communities to receive accurate health information from trusted sources. PGP is using the existing team of journalists and substantial media monitoring and analysis resources leveraged for EVI to create a sustainable news model to increase health equity in the U.S.  

PGN retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and the sources of all revenue from PGP. We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services, or opinions.

We accept gifts and grants from individuals, organizations, and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently—not based on or influenced by donors. Editorial decisions are made by journalists and editors alone. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review, or edit content.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all one-time donations of $1,000 or more. We will avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources in excess of $5,000, political parties, elected officials, or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who our board of directors deems to present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

We pledge to be transparent about the funding of our news operations and maintain editorial independence from all revenue sources to ensure news judgments are made in the interest of the communities we serve as journalists.

Ethics policy 
PGN follows the Society for Professional Journalists Code of Ethics