Getting it for Free: When Foundations Provide the News on Health

By Maralee Schwartz

A paper by Maralee Schwartz, spring 2009 fellow, analyzes the implications of using health news provided by non-profit organizations. Departure of experienced journalists and shrinking budgets for reporting have resulted in a decline in the variety of content newspapers produce – including health care coverage. The launch of The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Kaiser Health News, which provides “free, in‐depth coverage to readers and news organizations,” raises important questions about journalism and its role in democracy. Will coverage from such a foundation be skewed, or have lower standards? How does a newspaper safeguard integrity and independence?

Download the paper (PDF).