Osteopaths try to buy journalists' attention with iTunes gift cards


Scott Hensley reports on another low point in health industry marketing efforts.



I'm confused. What's so wrong with this effort to stand out amidst the noise assailing journalists on a daily basis? You're not implying that $10 could influence coverage or that anyone thinks it would?


To help with your confusion, let me refer you to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics, which states:

Journalists should:
—Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
— Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
— Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
— Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
— Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.

I can't expect that all citizens would be familiar with a journalism code of ethics, but I would expect that PR people who deal with journalists would have some familiarity - and would know that with such an offer they're pushing journalists to violate their principles.

Are you suggesting that there is NO problem with a physicians' group trying to influence journalists' attention with gifts?

Even the drug industry is cracking down on gifts to physicians of pens and coffee cups and stuff that costs less than $10. So anyone in medicine must be aware of the current concerns on the gift-giving, influence-peddling landscape.

But if you’re still confused and still don’t see a problem with a physicians’ group trying to buy journalists’ attention, more power to you.

I'm sure you'll enjoy all the information that the osteopaths or any other pay-for-play messengers have for you.

This is odd, how do they think they can influence people with iTunes? Makes no sense.

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This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on November 13, 2009 1:03 PM.

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Health news theme show on NPR's On The Media this week is the next entry in this blog.

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