Health insurer funding reporting on health care by radio station
NC Policy Watch has posted aÂ commentary about the relationship between Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest health insurer, and WUNC Public Radio.
The commentary states, “We have written previously about the problems with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundationâ€™s sponsorship of WUNCâ€™s health care reporting. Last year the BCBSNC Foundation gave WUNC $113,624 to build the stationâ€™s health news capacity. In our opinion, that is a problem.
“We would be equally distressed if the North Carolina Democratic Party sponsored WUNCâ€™s political coverage or the North Carolina Chamber sponsored the stationâ€™s business news.
“This year the BCBSNC Foundation released its first ever annual report featuring audio stories about the Foundationâ€™s grantees. The back cover of the report says ‘Stories produced in association with WUNC.’ The WUNC logo is inside the report and on the back cover.
“It is disturbing enough that the stateâ€™s flagship public radio station would accept BCBSNC money for its health reporting. But one of the stateâ€™s leading news organizations helping a large insurance company produce its annual report is unacceptable.”
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