The Checks and Balances Project’s investigations draw ethical scrutiny
Elaine Izadi of The Washington Post examines the Checks and Balances Project, which looks into corporate activities but whose recent investigations have drawn ethical scrutiny.
Izadi reports, “When it investigated the hotel industry, it was after it had received a grant from Airbnb. A high-profile investigation into Arizona utility regulators came after Checks and Balances received money from a solar power company, the company disclosed in 2015.
“Now Checks and Balances is investigating a massive hospital system in Virginia named Sentara, publishing regular stories and asking patients and employees to send tips that might reveal how the nonprofit hospital ‘piled up $6 billion in liquid assets,’ among other issues.
“These stories started appearing the same month that a medical school in a complex dispute with Sentara hired a public relations firm that happens to share a founder and financial ties with Checks and Balances.
“Scott Peterson, the executive director of Checks and Balances, said that its funding sources do not influence the course of its investigations. In the case of Sentara, he said the site’s two-person staff chose to cover a powerful institution that has largely been overlooked by mainstream media. And the PR firm and medical school said the payments between them did not fund the website’s investigations into the hospital chain.”
Read more here.