What Happens When No One Is Watching?

March 2009
Nieman Reports;Spring2009, Vol. 63 Issue 1, p65
The author offers opinions on investigative and other reporting on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical industry. A history of reporting on the FDA and the industry in the early 1960s, when corrupt and/or lax practices relating to drug safety were revealed, is given. A lack of such coverage in the 2000s is noted, as well as a lack of reporting on the reluctance of relevant committees of the U.S. Congress to investigate FDA and pharmaceutical industry failures during that time. The author states that the political influence the industry has with the Congress is no excuse for journalism not to pursue such reporting.


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