The Missouri Hospital Association accused the Post-Dispatch of lobbying, the Post-Dispatch reported.
Post-Dispatch reporters sent a statement from the St. Louis Metropolitan Hospital Council “opposing public reporting of medical errors at hospitals” to “Missouri legislators who oversee health to ask their opinions.”
The accusations of lobbying were in an e-mail from Missouri Hospital Association’s senior vice president for governmental relations Daniel Landon. Landon wrote:
“We think it is useful to put the Post-Dispatch on notice that someone is watching their actions in this regard,” . “Otherwise, the reporters will continue to push the envelope between reporting and promoting public policy changes to support their editorial positions.”
In response to the charges of lobbying, Post-Dispatch editor Arnie Robbins is quoted as saying:
“It’s the core of our public service mission to ask elected officials questions about issues that affect us all. Because some other states already provide citizens with information about medical errors, it’s clearly fair and important to ask our legislators their views.”
However, University of Minnesota media ethics and law professor Jane Kirtley stated “It will be a very bad day for the people of Missouri if a journalist asking questions is construed as lobbying.”