The Examination

Our mission: Fearless journalism for a healthier world

What to know about The Examination

September 13, 2023

Welcome to The Examination! 

We are a startup nonprofit news outlet working in the public interest to tell vital stories about who and what is threatening our health. Thank you for stopping by. 

I founded our newsroom to address a crisis in coverage that has implications for all of us.

In an age of cutbacks and retrenchment, many newsrooms lack even a single health reporter. Those that do often lack the resources to go deep into the causes of health crises, to follow stories across borders and to hold accountable some of the world’s most powerful people and corporations.

Our mission is to help close these gaps, and to do so with the urgency the subject demands.

Consider: More than one-third of all global deaths are linked to certain industries, including tobacco, ultra-processed food and fossil fuels. The death toll is staggering: more than 30 million people die each year. A slew of preventable diseases, from cancer to diabetes to asthma, diminish the lives of countless more.

Systemic health inequity means that this suffering is often experienced by people who can least bear the costs.


of all global deaths are linked to certain industries, including tobacco, ultra-processed food and fossil fuels.

The toll is profound: families are broken apart, health care systems are strained and national treasuries are depleted. 

At The Examination, we aspire to generate powerful journalism that explains health hazards and their causes; exposes with specificity the ways that unhealthy products are marketed and sold; elevates the voices of communities that find themselves in harm’s way — and demands accountability from government and corporate actors. 

Most of all, we want our work to inspire positive change that leads to healthier communities. We know this is possible: Over our careers in journalism we have seen firsthand how incisive reporting can right wrongs, and change lives. 

But we can’t do it alone. 

Core to our approach is a practice once unthinkable in the competitive media space. We work together with journalists in other newsrooms around the globe. We share ideas, we share reporting, we even share scoops. These reporters are just as passionate about health coverage as we are, and we benefit mightily from their expertise. Others come from different backgrounds, and bring their distinct expertise.

By collaborating, we can deliver reporting of a quality and depth that we could not accomplish individually. Partnering also helps us better reach the people whose lives are most threatened by health threats or crises. 

Our investigation with Der Spiegel, Paper Trail Media and the Chinese-language outlet Initium Media shows how China’s state cigarette monopoly has interfered in the country’s tobacco control policy, to catastrophic ends. USA Today is a publication partner.

With The Washington Post, we reveal how the food and beverage industries are paying registered dietitians with millions of social media followers to help sell products and deliver industry-friendly messages on Instagram and TikTok, shaping our eating habits in the process.

And with The Guardian US, we explore how a half-century of regulatory inaction has left us in the dark about the health risks of thousands of chemicals on the market, including some that are in common household products.

We also need your help. 

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For starters, if you haven’t already, please sign up for our newsletter. It is the best way to make sure you don’t miss our investigations, news, interviews, analysis and more — and we pledge to make it worth your while. You can expect to hear from us every week or so. 

If you read a story you liked, or didn’t, please send a note to We also invite you to follow our work, or share it, on the social media platform of your choice. You can find us on Instagram, X (previously Twitter) and even TikTok.

If you have a story idea or a tip, there are lots of ways to contact us securely

And finally: We are a nonprofit news outlet that relies on donor support. If you think the journalism we are doing is important, please consider making a contribution.

Thank you for reading,
Ben Hallman

The Examination

Ben Hallman

Ben Hallman is executive director of The Examination.