Health and Medicine Guide: Chapter 4


First, Do No Harm. Reporting About Safety
Once a pharmaceutical product — a drug, vaccine, or medical device — has gone through the different testing phases, and the approval process with regulatory agencies, it hits the market and can be prescribed and sold. Serious adverse events can appear when the product is widely used for the first time by real patients. This relates not only to potential flaws in scientific research and problems related to regulatory approval and reporting in scientific journals. It is also sometimes a matter of numbers: If you test safety on 5,000 patients, an adverse event arising in one of 20,000 will become apparent when many more patients use the product.

Health and Medicine Guide: Preface

Investigating health care is complex and challenging. Reporting in this field means reading lengthy documents and getting well-acquainted with medical jargon. Numbers and statistics are also part of the game. Although the learning curve can be steep, in this specialized area of investigative journalism you’ll never run out of stories. Truly global, it’s compelling and engaging.

Data Journalism Top 10: Tracking Police Accountability; Racism and Housing; China’s Hidden Prison Camps

The police shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American man, in the United States has reignited national unrest just months after the death of George Floyd. Our NodeXL #ddj mapping from August 24 to 30 finds ProPublica documenting police violence against Black Lives Matter protesters and tracking police accountability. The New York Times shows how the process of redlining, or denying mortgage finance to predominantly Black neighborhoods from the 1930s onwards, has resulted in heat disparities among cities, and BuzzFeed News uncovers scores of new internment camps in Xinjiang, China, by analyzing satellite data.