Journalists Should Report Their Sources’ Conflicts of Interest


From While researchers are usually required to disclose their conflicts of interest in medical journals, media outlets do not often require journalists to disclose their sources’ conflicts of interest. It is time for journalists and editors to make these disclosures mandatory in the popular media.

“The Association of Health Care Journalists’ Statement of Principles call for journalists to ‘be vigilant in selecting sources, asking about, weighing and disclosing relevant financial, advocacy, personal or other interests.’ It also urges journalists to:

‘Investigate and report possible links between sources of information (studies or experts) and those (such as the manufacturers) who promote a new idea or therapy.’

This call is going unheeded by many journalists who either don’t disclose such interests at all or do so in a selective, possibly biased, manner.”

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