Society of Professional Journalists
Improving and protecting journalism since 1909

Advertisement
— ADVERTISEMENT —
Advertise with SPJ
4

News and More
Click to Expand Instantly

SPJ News
Events and Deadlines
SPJ Blogs
Quill Online
SPJ on Tumblr
Journalist's Toolbox

Stay in Touch
Twitter Tumblr Facebook Google Plus
RSS Pinterest Pinterest Storify


More SPJ News
Press Notes
Publications
SPJ Blogs
Quill
SPJ Leads
The EIJ News
Press Notes
SPJ News
Open Doors
Geneva Conventions
Annual FOI Reports

Home > SPJ News > Public data bank file restored, but with major restrictions

SPJ News
Latest SPJ News | RSS


Public data bank file restored, but with major restrictions


11/9/2011


Advertisement
— ADVERTISEMENT —

After advocacy and complaints from journalism groups, including SPJ, the Health Resources and Services Administration has restored a data file it previously removed from public view.

HRSA, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, removed the Public Use File of the National Practitioners Data Bank in September. The file was a resource for journalists and the public to gain information about medical practitioners, including doctors. Led by the Association of Health Care Journalists, a coalition of journalism organizations publicly objected to the removal.

But there is a heavy caveat to the data being brought back, a caveat not sitting well with AHCJ President Charles Ornstein. Users of the data set must agree not to repost or share the data on other websites, and cannot use it to identify an entity or individual (such as a doctor) by name.

"How can the government say data is public but then say it's only public with strings attached?" Ornstein said in a news release. "I am troubled that HRSA is overstepping its legal authority with these new rules and may be imposing unconstitutional prior restraints on reporters."

Read the full response from AHCJ.

SPJ and the other groups involved will watch the situation and continue to push for full, unrestricted access to this important public information.

Copyright © 1996-2014 Society of Professional Journalists. All Rights Reserved. Legal

Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
317/927-8000 | Fax: 317/920-4789

Contact SPJ Headquarters
Employment Opportunities
Advertise with SPJ