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What the New ‘Collaborative Media’ Can Mean

On Oct. 19, 2010 ProPublica published the first in a series of articles on payments to doctors by drug companies. Called “Dollars for Docs,” the series was accompanied by an exclusive database, tracking payments of more than a quarter billion dollars in less than two years to 17,000 doctors nationwide (updates now include 2 million records and payments of more than $2.5 billion). To date, users of the database have recorded more than 7 million page views. 

Joining ProPublica in producing initial stories in this series were the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Consumer Reports, the Nightly Business Report on PBS and NPR News. Recent additional partners included the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dallas Morning News, Detroit News, Health News Florida, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Nashville Tennessean, Newark Star-Ledger, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle and WNYC radio. Later partners have included the Denver Post, Los Angeles Daily News and Salt Lake Tribune. This scrutiny has prompted tightening of disclosure rules.

And it has also blazed a path for a new kind of journalism. With our 2013 update, and using ProPublica’s database local stories on doctors taking such payments, and the implications for patients, have now appeared in the more than 180 outlets:

Abilene [KS] Reporter NewsKLAS-TV (Las Vegas)Providence Journal
Albany Times-UnionKLTV (Tyler, TX)Pueblo [CO] Chieftain
Alexandria [VA] Gazette PacketKMOX TV (St. Louis)Puget Sound Bus. Journal
AnnArbor.comKnoxville News-SentinelRadio Iowa
Austin American-StatesmanKOAA TV (Colorado Springs, CO)Rapid City Journal
Baltimore SunKOLR (Springfield, MO)Reader [Omaha, NE]
Bergen RecordKOMU TV (Columbia, MO)Redding [CA] Record Searchlight
Berkeley [CA] PatchKPBS (San Diego)Richmond Biz Sense
Binghamton [NY] PressKPLU (Seattle)Richmond Times-Dispatch
Billings [MT] GazetteKPSP TV (Palm Springs, CA)Roanoke [VA] Times
Birmingham [AL] NewsKRNV TV (Reno, NV)Rochester [NY] Democrat and Chronicle
Boston GlobeKUOW Radio (Seattle)Rochester [NY] Star-Gazette
Burnsville [MN] PatchKVBC News 3 (Las Vegas)St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Business Courier (Cincinnati)KVIA TV (El Paso)Sacramento [CA] News & Review
California WatchKVLY (Fargo, ND)Salt Lake Tribune
Charleston [SC] Post and CourierLakeland [FL] LedgerSan Bernardino County Sun
ChattanooganLawrence [KS] Journal-WorldSan Luis Obispo [CA] Tribune
Chattanooga Times Free PressLoveland [CO] ConnectionSan Rafael [CA] Patch
Charlotte ObserverLowell [MA] SunSanta Cruz [CA] Patch
Chicago TribuneMail Tribune [Medford, OR]Santa Cruz Sentinel
Chico [CA] Enterprise RecordMarin Independent JournalSante Fe New Mexican
Chico [CA] News & ReviewMemphis Commercial AppealSaratogian
Cleveland Plain DealerMendota Heights [MN] PatchScranton [PA] Times-Tribune
Coloradoan (Fort Collins)Middletown Press7News TV (Denver)
Colorado Public RadioMilwaukee Journal SentinelShreveport Times
Columbian (Vancouver, WA)Minnesota Public RadioSyracuse [NY] Post-Standard
Columbua DispatchMinnPostTBD [Washington, DC]
Contra Costa TimesMissourinetTennessean (Nashville)
Daily Hampshire (MA) GazetteMonterey Co. [CA] WeeklyTexas Tribune
Dallas Business JournalNashville Business JournalTulsa [OK] World
The Day (New London, CT)Nashville SceneTyler [TX] Morning Telegraph
Denver PostNashville TennesseanUnion Leader (NH)
Des Moines RegisterNBC Chicago[Victorville, CA] Daily Press
Detroit Metro TimesNBC ConnecticutVirginian-Pilot [Norfolk]
D MagazineNBC4 [Columbus, OH]Waco [TX] Tribune
Durham [NC] Herald-SunNBC4 [New York City]WFAE Radio (Charlotte)
Eden Prairie [MN] PatchNBC4 [Washington, D.C.]Willamette Week (Oregon)
Edina [MN] PatchNBC San DiegoWFIE TV (Evansville, IN)
Fort Myers [FL] News-PressNewark ExaminerWFTS TV (Tampa)
Fort Wayne [IN] Journal GazetteNewark Star-LedgerWHIO TV (Dayton, OH)
Foster’s Daily Democrat (NH)New Hampshire Public RadioWisconsin Radio Network
Fredricksburg [VA] Free-Lance StarNew Haven IndependentWisconsinWatch.org
Glendale [CA] News PressNew Orleans Times-PicayuneWLOS TV (Asheville, NC)
GoDanRiver.com [Danville, VA]New York PostWOAI TV (San Antonio, TX)
GoLocalProv [Providence, RI]North Coast Journal (Humboldt Co., CA)Worcester [MA] Telegram & Gazette
Hartford CourantNorth County Times [San Diego]WPLN Radio (Nashville)
Hawaii Tribune HeraldNorthville [MN] PatchWPTV (West Palm Beach, FL)
Hopkins [MN] PatchOakland [MI] PressWRIC TV (Richmond, VA)
Houston Business JournalOhio ExaminerWSFX Radio (Springfield, MA)
Idaho StatesmanOklahomanWSOC TV (Charlotte, NC)
Indianapolis Bus. JournalOrange County RegisterWSTP TV (Tampa)
Iowa City Press CitizenOregonianWTKR TV (Norfolk, VA)
Jackson [MI] Citizen PatriotOregon Public BroadcastingWTOL TV (Toledo, OH)
Journal News (Westchester Co., NY)Orlando SentinelWWMT (Kalamazoo, MI)
Kansas City StarPalm Beach PostWXIA TV (Atlanta)
KARE TV (Minneapolis)Pasadena Star-NewsWXII TV (Winston-Salem, NC)
KARK TV (Little Rock)Philadelphia InquirerWZTV (Nashville)
KDBC TV (El Paso, TX)Portland Press HeraldYakima [WA] Herald-Republic
KHOU TV (Houston)Pottstown MercuryYork Daily Record
York [PA] Sunday News

In addition to the initial story partners and many of those above, the following news outlets have included the ProPublica database “widget” on their websites, enabling local readers to check on payments to their own doctors:

Capital Public Radio (Sacramento)KUAZ Radio (Tucson)
Erie [PA] Times-NewsMiami Herald
Hartford CourantMichigan Radio
Hampton Roads [VA] Daily PressSanta Cruz Sentinel
NewsHour on PBSSeattle/Local HeathGuide
KCCU Radio (Lawton, OK)WBUR Radio (Boston)
Keene [NH] SentinelWEOS Radio (Geneva, NY)
KGOU (Norman, OK)WGME TV (Portland, ME)
KLCC Radio (Eugene, OR)WLRH Radio (Huntsville, AL)
KNPR (Las Vegas)WUIS Radio (Springfield, IL)
KPBX Radio (Spokane)WVXU (Cincinnati)
KPCC Radio (Los Angeles) 
Photo by flickr user sparkieblues http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparkieblues/3971258497/

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