Taking the world's pulse: a new team to investigate healthcare

We are all going to die. But too many of us are going to die too soon – because of preventable diseases, public health failures, medical mistakes, drug-resistant bacteria or not being able to afford a visit to the doctor.

Global health is a matter of life or death, affecting every one of us deeply, and yet there has been little investigative journalism (and virtually no cross-border reporting) looking at how the decisions of powerful institutions and corporations lead to issues that mar the life of millions.

The Bureau plans to change that. We are launching an ambitious global health investigative project after securing significant funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We don’t just want to do more investigation in this area. We want to change how journalism on global health is done, and to make sure our reporting makes a real difference on the issues we cover.

Our aim is to develop a network of investigative health reporters across the globe who will dig into stories together and publish collaboratively, with a focus on making real-world impact. Our aim is not to replicate the reporting done by national newspapers and magazines about health, which tends to document the human cost of health issues, or produce news pieces on events or research. Instead the Bureau’s global health hub will investigate the systemic problems and powerful forces that are driving crises in infectious diseases and healthcare provision.

Over the past four years our extensive reporting on the global public health emergency of antibiotic resistance has identified many practices and strategies which need more scrutiny. Health budgets are being misspent, drug companies are continuing to charge high prices, healthcare and medicine remains unavailable for many, corporate interests are lobbying governments and misinformation is being spread by those with vested interests.

The Bureau has won a £900,000 grant to launch a team to build on this work and investigate the world’s biggest infectious diseases, healthcare failings and what could be done to save lives. The health hub will draw on the successes and learnings of our Bureau Local project to coordinate cross-border collaborative investigations that will be published in outlets around the world, as well as specialist publications and global media brands.

But our health hub won’t just publish stories. It will make sure the reporting comes off the page to make a difference in the real world. We will collaborate with other organisations, communities and individuals affected by or working on the issues we cover, and we will take our work directly to governments, companies and policymakers. We don’t just want to raise public awareness and spark debate; we also want to provide facts and evidence that can strengthen the work of those building change from the ground up, and inform the decisions of those with the power to make it from the top.

We are about to advertise multiple positions, including a reporter and an impact producer and community manager. Check our employment page or follow us on Twitter to get news of those posts as they are announced.

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