Category Archives: Government

Shining a light on communities through public information

Amelia Nitz

About Amelia Nitz

Amelia Nitz is the communications manager for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which provides pro bono legal support and resources to advance First Amendment freedoms and protect the newsgathering rights of journalists.

In honor of Sunshine Week, AHCJ invited organizations devoted to government transparency to write about how their work can help health care reporters. Here is the first of four.

Sunshine Week may be just one week out of the year, but the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press works every day to protect the right to public information. We have seen firsthand the important role that public information plays in producing more complete and accurate reporting on issues that deeply affect our communities –  how taxpayer dollars are spent, if elected officials are acting in the best interests of those they serve, and whether those in government are abusing the power they hold. Continue reading

A week of instruction and inspiration on getting all the facts

Sabriya Rice

About Sabriya Rice

Sabriya Rice (@sabriyarice) is the business of health care reporter for the Dallas Morning News. She’s an AHCJ board member and vice chair of the association’s Right to Know committee.

It’s Sunshine Week!

This annual celebration of access to public information offers seven days packed with panel discussions, workshops and special reporting efforts, organized by the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee, which also advocates for transparency and access to information, is joining this year’s celebration with a weeklong series of blog posts to bolster your efforts to get the facts. Continue reading

HHS secretary promises ‘open and transparent’ relationship with media

Kimberly Leonard

About Kimberly Leonard

Kimberly Leonard (@leonardkl) is a member of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee and co-chair of the Washington, D.C., chapter. She covers Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services as a health care reporter for the Washington Examiner.

Alex Azar

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pledged in his first on-the-record press conference Tuesday that he will have an “open and transparent” relationship with reporters, and said he does not envision a scenario in which anyone would be banned from covering the agency.

The statement, a welcome commitment to reporters, came one week after the Association of Health Care Journalists sent Azar a letter urging him to hold regular press conferences. Continue reading

Don’t be late to #AHCJ18: Program kicks off with D.C. pros revealing how they get their stories

Deborah Schoch

About Deborah Schoch

Deborah Schoch, a member of AHCJ’s Right to Know Committee, is an independent health writer and investigative reporter. She was a Los Angeles Times staff writer for 18 years and helped found the CHCF Center for Health Reporting at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

One journalist’s deep-dive reporting paid off when she made it to an airport just in time to witness U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price leaving a gold-colored private jet. The ensuing stories revealed Price’s penchant for luxury travel at taxpayer expense and led to his resignation.

A pair of print and television journalists teamed up to uncover how Congressional deal-making torpedoed an opioid crackdown by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Because of their coverage, Rep. Tom Marino, who had championed the deal in Congress, withdrew his name as President Trump’s nominee for U.S. drug czar.

They are among five reporters – experts in prying news out of federal health agencies – who will share their stories and offer advice at Health Journalism 2018, the annual conference of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Phoenix. Continue reading

Reporters struggle to learn the facts after only three get briefing on drug price proposals

Sarah Karlin-Smith

About Sarah Karlin-Smith

Sarah Karlin-Smith (@SarahKarlin) is a health care reporter for Politico, specializing in covering the policy and politics that affect the drug industry, particularly drug pricing regulations. She has spent the past seven years covering health care with a focus on the Food and Drug Administration.

Alex Azar

When newly installed Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar held one of his first meetings with the media on Feb. 8, only three reporters were invited. They got a sneak peek at drug price provisions contained in President Trump’s budget, while other reporters had to wait days to get questions answered.

The topic – tackling the cost of pharmaceuticals – was one of Azar’s signature issues, but he chose to discuss it only with the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Daily Caller. Continue reading