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News organizations demand policy changes on FDA interviews

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  1. Newsgathering
Eleven media outlets sent a letter sent to the FDA Tuesday urging it to end a policy that requires journalists…

Eleven media outlets sent a letter sent to the FDA Tuesday urging it to end a policy that requires journalists and agency employees to receive permission before conducting interviews, the Association of Health Care Journalists reported. The Reporters Committee was among the groups joining the effort.

The request was directed to the FDA’s internal transparency task force and said that “when they forbid, delay or monitor contact between reporters and employees, they interfere with the public’s right to know and can delay access to timely information necessary to protect and advance public health.”

The current policy has only been in place for the past two administrations and has grown increasingly restrictive, the health journalists report.

“These relatively new practices hinder reporters’ ability to learn the truth by inhibiting and sometimes barring employees from providing essential information.”