Today, STAT turns 7. I’d like to express my gratitude to readers like yourself for being as passionate as we are about what we’ve built: a media company focused single-mindedly on the worlds of health, medicine, and life sciences that now stands at more than 100 employees strong.
We have created something that is incredibly rare these days: a self-sustaining, thriving news organization with readers paying for high-quality, ambitious, provocative journalism. Our readers are hugely loyal; the renewal rate of our paying subscribers is one of the highest in the industry.
When the pandemic hit, tens of millions of new readers turned to STAT for our authoritative coverage of Covid and vaccine development. Since then, we have expanded rapidly, going deeper into our core coverage areas of biopharma, life sciences, public health, politics and policy, health tech, and First Opinion.
Over the past year, we have hired well-sourced reporters to cover new areas as well: hospitals and insurance, the business of health, chronic diseases, addiction, commercial determinants of health, and cardiovascular disease. We have dominated the coverage of Alzheimer’s disease and the FDA’s approval of a new treatment. We have delivered on our unparalleled commitment to expose racism in medicine, through award-winning stories and videos, as well as our new podcast, “Color Code.” We have brought about meaningful change; for example, our reporting led Epic, the nation’s dominant seller of health records, to overhaul its widely criticized model for identifying sepsis. And we unveiled our first feature-length documentary with NOVA on PBS.
This week alone, our standouts include an investigation of a private equity firm relentlessly pursuing profits, to the detriment of patients, and an examination of why it’s taken years for the FDA to scrutinize pulse oximeters, which can be less accurate for people with darker skin. We also published a special report from Matthew Herper, who drew on his two decades as one of the most respected journalists covering the field to explain why we’re not prepared for the next wave of biotech innovation.
We’re hardly sitting still. In coming months, you’ll see more fruits of our determination to cover two topical stories: the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the issue of what the health care system is — or isn’t — doing writ large to limit carbon emissions. You’ll see the publication of a project — more than two years in the making — on the prison system’s failure to respond to a deadly but preventable public health crisis. And next year, STAT is deploying its first reporter overseas, responding to readers who have been clamoring for coverage from Europe.
Beyond written words, this year we’ve introduced 140 new products, including STAT Trials Pulse, a one-of-a-kind clinical intelligence platform that alerts users to real-time changes based on proprietary event classifications developed in collaboration with STAT reporters. We’re building a sprawling program to engage our community, including STAT Locals, a series of gatherings across the country where we’ve connected our readers. And keep an eye out for an exciting refresh of our homepage that’s now underway.
And later this month, we will host our fourth-annual STAT Summit in Boston, our flagship gathering that features solution-focused discussions on the most important topics in health care with some of the field’s greatest minds.
These expanding ambitions for STAT journalism are costly, and I’d be grateful if you’d consider joining the most loyal of our readers by purchasing a STAT+ subscription. At least half our stories, and many of the biggest exclusives, are published behind the paywall.
We are offering a special 20% off birthday discount to readers of this letter; just use the promotion code BDAY when signing up. Beyond the birthday discount, we also offer academic and nonprofit rates, as well as group subscriptions and licenses. You can get more information here.
Thank you for reading STAT. As always, please reach out to me with feedback. I’m at [email protected], on Twitter @rickberke, and on LinkedIn.
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