Top 10 Tips for Investigating Health Care, from the Experts

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a public health crisis without precedent in living memory, and journalists have been racing to keep audiences informed. For those new to the health beat, GIJN is here to help with a comprehensive new guide into investigating health care and top tips from experts on what to watch out for, how to check results, and who to talk to about medical innovations.

Health and Medicine Guide: Chapter 5

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Tips on Traps, Hype & Ethics
Although in parts of the world investigating pharmaceuticals can be physically dangerous, in others you risk your reputation rather than your life. Drug companies often hire effective and persistent public relations managers, some of them former journalists. Much less often, lawyers will be involved. They might send aggressive letters threatening legal action, for example. Putting your editor and publisher under pressure is common practice, as this leads to delay while editors carry out further checks, often prompting you to provide additional evidence.

Why Reporters Need to Carefully Assess the Evidence on COVID-19

Reporters investigating the coronavirus pandemic are confronted with a mountain of medical research papers, statistical models, and government figures that purport to be true. But experts insist that even investigative journalists without health backgrounds can readily assess their truthfulness and relevance, if they follow the right principles and tools.