To avoid conflicts of interest between my communications work and journalism, I follow the practices below. Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions to better my practices.
I keep a spreadsheet of all the organizations I have worked for or accepted other compensation (awards/travel/meals) from. When I pitch editors, or receive a new assignment, I always disclose and discuss any potential conflicts.
To reduce potential conflicts of interest, I generally cover “macro” topics in my journalism and “micro” topics in my communications work. Examples are as follows:
- Molecular workings of cells
- Technologies that enable biomedical research
- Results from individual cell biology, biophysics, or immunology studies or articles
To date, I have never written journalistically about a person, company, organization, institution, or research study that was involved in or covered by my communications work. Should such a conflict of interest arise in the future, I will disclose it to my editor.