Healthcare Brew Editorial Guidelines

Editorial Guidelines

Healthcare Brew adheres to and follows a rich history of journalistic best practices and guidelines to ensure that our reporting is accurate and fair.

As a media organization, we are committed to producing journalism that meets the highest standards of quality and integrity. Our journalism - no matter the form - intends to inform, educate, and empower our audiences to make better decisions. The reputation of this company, the respect accorded our brands, and the careers of our employees depend on upholding these shared values.

At a moment when lies travel around the world faster than possibly Jonathan Swift could have ever imagined, it’s vital that our readers, our sources, and our partners understand our values in seeking truth and why our reporting can be trusted.

On the record vs. on background vs. off the record

Healthcare Brew default position when talking with sources is on the record. This means that any part of the conversation can be used and attributed to the person we’re speaking with. Sometimes, however, we understand that sources aren’t allowed to talk to the press, or that if their name is attributed to a quote or idea, their jobs might be on the line. In cases like this, we can talk “on background.” This must be agreed upon before entering the conversation by the reporter. We may also choose to offer anonymity to sources as a means of protection.

However, we do not offer anonymity to sources who make accusatory, potentially defamatory, or otherwise critical statements about other individuals or companies. Finally, there are times when a source will talk to us off the record. All this means is that we cannot use this information or attribute where the information came from. This, as on background, has to be agreed upon between the reporter and the source.

Corporate Spokespeople

Following other publications like The Verge and Wired, Healthcare Brew does not offer corporate spokespeople—people who willingly enter a line of occupation to be the literal voice of a company, whether internally employed or as external public relations employees—anonymity. The conversation is on the record by default. In the event where a corporate spokesperson needs anonymity, a reason must be offered, and we must agree. There is a high threshold for corporate spokespeople speaking on behalf of a company. For example, if a spokesperson has information to share that might be considered whistleblower information; this does not apply to projects/news the company is promoting.Sending a statement as “on background” prior to any agreement with the reporter may result in having the statement attributed to the corporate comms person who sent it or if a spokesperson refuses to be named, a note in the story along the lines of: the company refused to provide a statement attributable to a name/employee.

Our default, again, is that any statement coming from a corporate spokesperson speaking on behalf of a company will get attributed to that spokesperson.

We also do not share with sources questions in advance of interviews or stories in advance of publication. We will, however, from time to time, ask a source to clarify their response after an interview and prior to publishing to ensure accuracy.


We strive to be accurate and fair But, we are also humans and make mistakes. When we do make a factual error, we add a correction; no correction is too small: a name, a quote, a statistic, a title, whatever. Something we got wrong is acknowledged with a correction.


Except for such items as holiday gifts of minimal ($20 or less) value, our journalists do not accept gifts, payment, or in-kind emoluments from sources or subjects or public relations companies. 

Disclosures of conflict

We will clearly state staffers’ relationships and our own corporate relationships when those relationships might be considered relevant to the reporting. This includes, but is not limited to: family, financial, or political ties. In order to both foster and maintain trust with our readers, we are transparent in our conflicts of interest.


Healthcare Brew is supported by advertising. As such we have a wholly separate advertising sales organization that is responsible for selling ad inventory across our newsletters, websites, videos, podcasts, and events. They have no influence over what editorial reports on or writes about. As we often cover our advertisers, it is vital to the trust of our publications that these two teams remain separate. In the digital environment, there are ad products called “sponsored content,” often articles from an advertiser about their goods or services or company. These are created from our Branded Content team, a team separate from the newsroom, and these pieces do not reflect the views of our editorial teams or processes.