Seattle-based, “vet-centric” pet insurer Trupanion’s leaders often like to underscore that the company does not participate in “pay to play” marketing tactics. Trupanion’s leaders enjoy talking about ethics, transparency, and more transparency. For the second year in a row, the company has decided to market itself to the veterinary profession, one of the most educated, […]
San Francisco-based reporter Carly Nairn, a UC Berkeley J-School graduate, is the kind of ethical, mission-driven, journalist we’ve been looking for. If you hear from Ms. Nairn, you should know that she’s like a unicorn in the journalism world. She’s one of the few reporters remaining on this planet who actually believes in doing reporting. […]
It is a common practice in professional journalism that even competing news organizations credit each other as a matter of professional courtesy –unless one feels threatened by the other. In a three-part series of reports starting July 7, 2022, TCR offered coverage of Fetch By The Dodo (best known as Petplan but rebranded in light of its partnership with viral video animal blog The Dodo). The story was about its attempt to cut vet professionals out of coverage by declaring them a “moral hazard.” This led to our broader coverage of the issue at hand–the story VIN News has recycled and published one year later this week since our first story.
After USA Today reported, falsely, that Elanco had covered up adverse event reports and withheld them from regulators, rather than issue a correction, Mr. Hettinger and USA Today simply deleted the story’s most significant paragraph. In fact, there was even a “Why This Story Matters” graphic, also removed.
It was an egregious enough violation of the company’s own corrections policy to warrant an FYI to Newsguard, a fact-checking company. Fortunately for Gannett, this reporter’s father is Newsguard’s co-CEO- -and because of that, Newsguard determined that the risk for perception of conflict outweighed the need for them to downgrade Gannett’s rating, at least for now. However, TCR’s reporting shows what now amounts to more than two years of egregious violations of the most basic journalism standards. Note: This is a great newstip for a media reporter.
On Monday, February 7, misinformation about animal health came from a surprising source: the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
“FDA to end updates on dilated cardiomyopathy and grain-free food,” AVMA writer Coco Lederhouse’s headline declared. She explained that, the FDA had decided that the reports “do not supply sufficient data to establish a causal relationship with reported product(s).” In other words, the reports don’t indicate that there’s a problem, so the FDA is no longer going to provide new reports.
Coincidentally, on the same day of the AVMA’s story, preeminent veterinary nutritionist Lisa Freeman at Tufts updated her highly regarded Petfoodology blog with an article that makes the best case possible for the urgent need for these records to be updated consistently and made public.
The AVMA’s press officers declined to provide contact information for Ms. Lederhouse, whose name is in the byline of the AVMA story. TCR contacted president Lori Teller, chief veterinary officer Gail Golab, head of policy Isham Jones, and four different press aides at least twice each over a three day period for comment regarding the erroneous story and did not receive any response.
Last month marked three years since we began our drive to bring greater accountability and transparency to the pet industry through our high impact, public interest journalism. We have a long way to go, but we’re off to a strong start. Last week, Business Insider noticed – writing that TCR is “terrorizing the pet industry.” […]
The Making – and Unmaking — of Forbes’s Insurance Rankings Forbes Misfires, Takes Down 2022 Pet Insurance Rankings In September of 2022, an obscure pet health insurance company called Embrace, which holds less than 10 percent of the marketshare in the U.S. according to an industry research firm, began to celebrate a major endorsement […]
In July, The Canine Review reported that Petplan which had recently partnered with Group Nine Media and rebranded itself as “Fetch by The Dodo,” was seeking to slash veterinary professionals from pet health insurance coverage by declaring them a “moral hazard.” Our reporting resulted in sharp and extensive outcry from veterinary professionals and influencers on […]
Is it true that TCR bans the use of the term “investigative journalism” ?
Yes. It’s redundant. A journalist’s job is to investigate.
The term is a product of a new phenomenon born out of digital communication or journalism by email, Tweet, etc. which is intended to distinguish actual reporting from what most ‘reporting’ is now, in the post-Internet age. Woodward and Bernstein were not “investigative journalists.” Bob Woodward was a cub reporter on the metro desk assigned to cover a local burglary, Watergate. Woodward would be the first to say – and does say – that journalism is about showing up and outworking every person around you. All journalism demands showing up and being a surrogate for your readers.
Last Friday, we reported that pet health insurer Petplan — now rebranded as “Fetch by the Dodo” to reflect its new partnership with The Dodo, the animal-loving viral video blog – had started rolling out an exclusion in its policy that slashes coverage options for veterinary professionals. Now we can report that the insurer explained the move by declaring veterinary professionals a “moral hazard/fraud [risk]” in the cover letter of the filing we reported last week.