Introducing Public Health Watch

Today we unveil Public Health Watch, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news site that will focus on the prevention of illness, injury and death.

Jim Morris

The timing is fortuitous, given the maddeningly resilient COVID-19 virus. But the idea of Public Health Watch has been percolating for more than two years. While we’re all preoccupied with the pandemic, at some point the scourge will end. What will be left are the mundane things that have been making us sick, hurting us and killing us all along: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illness, drug addiction and – as we show in our inaugural collaborative project – plain old heat.

America doesn’t do prevention well. We’ve known this for a long time, but COVID-19 has made it even more obvious. We spend far more on treatment than we do addressing the sources of our misery: toxic chemicals in our air and water, tobacco, alcohol, gun violence, unsafe workplaces. We starve local health departments and regulatory agencies of funding, then get annoyed with them for not protecting us.

Public Health Watch, which I’m starting after more than 40 years in journalism, will emphasize accountability, with the aim of exposing injustices. We’ll press elected officials, regulators and corporate executives to explain why people who live within a few miles of an oil refinery or a petrochemical plant – most often, people of color – are still forced to breathe poisons known to cause cancer and other maladies. We’ll ask why some in America are deprived of health insurance or medical care and show how this affects the nation as a whole. We’ll report on dangerous prescription drugs, the marketing of unhealthy foods and threats to maternal and child health. We’ll cover COVID-19, but only if we have something original to say.

Our written and broadcast stories will be mostly long-form but – if we do them well – compelling enough that you’ll stick with them. We’re uninterested in stories that explain the “what” but not the “why” and “how.” If there’s a viable solution to a problem we unearth, we’ll highlight it. We like documents (a lot, in my case) and data.

Public Health Watch exists to inform, inspire and, when necessary, enrage, leading to impact in its many forms. We want our content to reach as wide an audience as possible and would like to hear from you. Send us news tips or questions at tips@publichealthwatch.org or info@publichealthwatch.org. Follow us and comment on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and sign up now for our newsletter.

–Jim Morris, executive director and editor-in-chief


Related Articles

Young and Dying: Veterans Are Getting Brain Cancer and Struggling to Get Benefits

A joint investigation by Military.com and Public Health Watch found that glioblastoma, while rare, has struck hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Many must fight for health care and compensation.

Flaring at Gulf Coast Plastics Plant Alarms Neighbors, Signals Growth in Polluting Projects

Environmental advocates fear that Gulf Coast residents are poised to suffer from new energy projects expected to add 50 million tons of greenhouse-gas pollution in coming years.

Workplace Fatalities Fell Sharply in 2020

Workplace deaths declined in the first year of the pandemic, new federal data show, but deaths from drug overdoses and extreme temperatures were up.

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles

Young and Dying: Veterans Are Getting Brain Cancer and Struggling to Get Benefits

A joint investigation by Military.com and Public Health Watch found that glioblastoma, while rare, has struck hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Many must fight for health care and compensation.

Flaring at Gulf Coast Plastics Plant Alarms Neighbors, Signals Growth in Polluting Projects

Environmental advocates fear that Gulf Coast residents are poised to suffer from new energy projects expected to add 50 million tons of greenhouse-gas pollution in coming years.

Workplace Fatalities Fell Sharply in 2020

Workplace deaths declined in the first year of the pandemic, new federal data show, but deaths from drug overdoses and extreme temperatures were up.

Iowa’s Toxic Brew

Iowa copes with the climate-chemical reaction that can play havoc with drinking water.

Cancer Cases in Kids Are Rising. Some Experts Blame Toxic Chemicals.

While death rates for childhood cancer victims are going down, incidence rates are going up. Are environmental exposures at fault?