Does advertising from Partners taint Boston health reporting and advocacy?

Not teaching this summer; catching up. Here’s what’s on my radar.

Boston Health News

Speaking of bias: Disclosure: BHN has dogs in all of these battles. Speaking of bias: BHN has dogs in all of these fights.

Former BIDMC hospital chief Paul Levy thinks “so many people in town receive financial support from Partners that the public commentary on such issues is biased by that financial power. ” 

“Take WBUR and its Commonhealth blog.  Yes, they do cover the Partners issues and do so as fairly and comprehensively as anyone in town.  But again, prominent among WBUR’s supporters is, you guessed it, Partners Healthcare.  Here, the issue is not that PHS influences the editorial policy of WBUR:  That clearly does not happen.

In this case, the power is more subtle but no less effective: Whatever points might be made in the Commonhealth blog on this topic–read by a few thousand readers–are dramatically reduced in impact by the quid pro quo given to Partners, i.e., repeated self-serving messages on air, heard by tens of thousands of listeners during drive time. In addition…

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