The whole idea of actually paying to read mainstream news online is rather alien to me, having grown up immersed in a world of free content readily available via Google News. Indeed, I can't help but see free news as some kind of inviolable human right.
Though I think it's worth mentioning the other science and health journalists at the Times too.
I know there's been a fair bit of twitter-joking about a Mark-only sub for the Times, but I suspect a Eureka sub (magazine plus blog) would have a real market.
Though I' not sure the Times would go for it. I suspect they're very aware that the science coverage is such a pull into their brand as a whole. Or at least they should be.
I, too, had to bite my knuckle as I typed in my credit card info to buy Mark's articles. How ironic that we had to pay to obtain access to "fair and balanced" reporting on DTC companies that wasn't forthcoming from free sources (most of those outlets seemed content to regurgitate the sensational GAO report and leave it at that). Will pay walls = better content or is this just an anomaly?
Regarding the issue of disease incidence and prevalence, one would think the CDC (here in the US) could help in providing standard figures for the DTC industry, which was something I proposed point blank to Muin Khoury several years ago during a meeting in Atlanta. He wasn't interested. How does the old saying go...if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
Will pay walls = better content or is this just an anomaly?
I certainly hope so!
As for Muin Khoury's uninterested response - what a disgrace. It certainly undermines a lot of the rhetoric he's been throwing at DTCG companies for the last two years.
Muin Khoury is a politician, no longer much of a scientist.
I, for one, subscribe to The New York Times almost as a contribution to actual reporting. Even if I never read an article on a particular topic, I like that my little micro-payment is funding a small part of actual research into it. I also subscribe to Consumer Reports and donate to PBS for the same reason. These organizations reporting on reality rather than just bringing in talking heads who disagree need our financial support.