Contest Entries

Robert Weisman's 2011 Body of Work

Entrants: Robert Weisman

Affiliation: The Boston Globe

Beat Reporting

Year: 2011

Place: Third Place

Judges’ comments: Robert Weisman writes with authority about the business aspects of health care in his coverage area. His reporting is strong and his writing is confident.

List date(s) this work was published or aired.

See this entry.

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

The entry demonstrates the range of stories on the health care business beat in a state that has become a national laboratory for medical innovation and health policy. From the sale of the company that defined the Massachusetts biotech cluster to the affordability push by the state’s largest health insurer to the marketing of a new blockbuster drug to the plight of financially strained hospitals, The Boston Globe sought to provide readers with breaking news, insights, context and behind-the-scenes intelligence.

Explain types of documents, data or Internet resources used. Were FOI or public records act requests required? How did this affect the work?

The Boston Globe reported the stories through in-depth interviews with leading industry players, state agency reports, public financial documents and talking to analysts, investors, competitors and industry specialists.

Explain types of human sources used.

Many of the stories resulted from interviews with leading industry figures, as well as market watchers inside and outside the health care business.

Results (if any).

The stories helped readers to understand and navigate the fast-changing world of drug development, health insurance and hospitals

Follow-up (if any). Have you run a correction or clarification on the report or has anyone come forward to challenge its accuracy? If so, please explain.

We have run no corrections on the stories in the package.

Advice to other journalists planning a similar story or project.

Telling the right story at the right time is key to successful beat reporting. While we cover a broad range of health care business sectors such as hospitals, health insurance, biotechnology and medical devices, each of these stories took the pulse of a sector at a turning point: when a company was changing hands, when a health plan signaled its intention to push down costs, when a new breakthrough therapy was hitting the market and when the weak economy and government cutbacks combined to push a quarter of the state’s hospitals into the red.