Intended for healthcare professionals

Medical investigative journalism: staying on the cutting edge

The BMJ is not an ordinary medical journal. Led by its mission to improve health, it has become synonymous with challenging the status quo and exposing practices not in the interest of patients. The journal's campaigns and investigative journalism have included vaccine research fraud, the truth about sports drinks, drug marketing, and the regulation and testing of medical devices.

With the support of the Open Society Foundations, The BMJ held a one day conference in New York on 10 November 2015 to provide the tools and techniques to be a leading medical investigative journalist.

The event attended by over 50 journalists at various stages of their careers and presentations from high profile speakers who covered all aspects of medical investigative journalism, from finding stories in the hidden data to not getting sued.

Welcome and reflections on BMJ's key investigations.
Fiona Godlee, The BMJ.
Els Torreele, Open Society Foundations.
View the slides.
Watch the video.

Medical Investigative Journalism: Why it matters?
Robert Whitaker, investigative reporter.
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Conference snapshot 1: In cancer, costs matter.
Peter Bach, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Leonard Saltz, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
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Watch the video.

Tell it to the judge: how not to get sued, and if you get sued, how to win.
Brian Deer, investigative reporter.
Intro video.
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Holding pharmaceutical companies and regulatory bodies to account.
Deborah Cohen, The BMJ.
Carl Heneghan, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine.
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Communicating medicine in the media: Medical statistics for journalists.
Steven Woloshin, Dartmouth Institute.
Lisa Schwartz, Dartmouth Institute.
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Conference snapshot 2: Q&A.
Martin McKee, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
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Discussion: Do medical scandals sell?
Sir Harold Evans, Reuters.
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Closing remarks.
Fiona Godlee, The BMJ.
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Follow this link to view a storify of the conference.