The Center for Public Integrity’s latest investigation is about a Tennessee couple who is among the most influential conduits for anti-vaccine messages online and is making millions spreading vaccine misinformation. The story revealed that spreading vaccine misinformation is a multimillion-dollar business.
But during the course of her reporting, journalist Liz Essley Whyte was met with a coordinated campaign of harassment and threats. It started when the operator of a network of vaccine and medical misinformation sites accused her of targeting the families of “vaccine skeptics.”
Now Essley Whyte is speaking with Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, an epidemiologist who has also faced harassment at the hands of anti-vaccine crusaders.
Dr. Jetelina is the founder of Your Local Epidemiologist, a blog that makes scientific evidence — particularly surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic — more accessible to the public. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health.
The two will discuss their experiences working to provide factual information amid the public health crisis and compare methods for identifying trustworthy facts amid a sea of misinformation.
Public Integrity’s investigative reporting examines the causes and effects of inequality, with a focus on employment, housing, health care, education and access to democracy. Its past work on the influence of money in democracy, abuse of the public trust, environmental justice and other topics has been recognized with some of the highest awards in journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize, Goldsmith, Edward R. Murrow, Gerald Loeb and George Polk Awards.