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John Carreyrou ‘s Wikipedia page does a good job of summarizing his rather stellar journalism career thus far. Focusing on American journalism awards, during his time at the The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), he’s won two Pulitzer Prizes and one Polk Award,

  • One, a shared Pulitzer prize for Explanatory Reporting in 2002 for coverage of some corporate scandals (1, 2),
  • Two, a shared Pulitzer prize for Investigative Reporting in 2015 for coverage of widespread US medical doctors’ bilking of Medicare (see photo below from 3; 4, 5, 6).
  • Three, in 2016, the George Polk Awards bestowed Carreyrou an individual Financial Reporting award for his coverage of Theranos. The Polk citation states (7, 8),

‘The award for Financial Reporting will go to John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal whose investigation of Theranos, Inc. raised serious doubts about claims by the firm and its celebrated 31-year-old founder, Elizabeth Holmes, that its new procedure for drawing and testing blood was a transformational medical breakthrough in wide use at the firm’s labs. Carreyrou’s well-researched stories, reported in the face of threats of lawsuits and efforts to pressure some sources to back off of their accounts, led to a reevaluation of Theranos’ prospects among investors and have been followed by regulatory actions against the company and widespread discussion that publications and institutions from Fortune and The New Yorker to Harvard and the White House may have been too quick to hail Holmes, a Stanford dropout whose personal wealth at the height of her startup’s rise was an estimated $4.5 billion, as a success story in the tradition of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg’

Let’s also be clear. John Carreyrou didn’t write ‘a’ but rather all the relevant critical WSJ pieces about Theranos either alone (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20) or with Rolfe Winkler (21) or with Christopher Weaver and/or Michael Siconolfi (22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28).

In contrast to the ‘access-driven cheerleading‘ (29) currently consuming technology journalism, Carreyrou pursued the Theranos case with dogged determination. Key aspect of the Carreyrou-WSJ Theranos exposes includes the numerous former and present as-yet anonymous employees who apparently proffered sensitive information at considerable peril to themselves. Clearly Carreyrou is skilled in seeking out and cultivating confidential contacts crucial to his story. Kudos to Carreyrou-WSJ for continuing to maintain their contacts’ confidentiality and for not caving to the alleged intimidating legal tactics used by Theranos (see excerpt below from 30).

‘After two months of being stonewalled by the Theranos P.R. team, Carreyrou told me an entourage of lawyers arrived at the Journal ’s Midtown Manhattan offices at one P.M. on June 23. The pack confidently sauntered past editors and reporters in the fifth-floor newsroom and was led by David Boies, the superstar lawyer who has taken on Bill Gates, the U.S. government, and represented Al Gore in the 2000 Florida recount case. Four other attorneys and a Theranos representative accompanied him. Before anything was said, the lawyers placed two audio recorders at either end of the long oval wood table, and recalcitrantly sat across from Carreyrou, his editor, and a Journal lawyer. Then they hit record.

Almost immediately, one person present told me, Boies and his team threatened legal action against the paper, accusing it of being in possession of “proprietary information” and “trade secrets.” The Theranos legal team then did their best to discredit dozens of independent sources whom Carreyrou had interviewed. The legal team roared, they showed teeth, they tried to intimidate. After a very tense five hours, the person told me that Boies and his platoon exited the newsroom, leaving behind the very serious specter of a lawsuit. (A spokesperson for both Boies and Theranos declined to comment. But one person close to the company said that Boies had been dispatched because Theranos executives had learned that the Journal possessed sensitive internal documents.)

For four months after that meeting, Carreyrou continued to try to secure an interview with Holmes, and for four months he was continuously threatened. Finally, in October, the Journal published its now-famous article suggesting that the Theranos narrative was all wrong—that the company’s technology was faulty, that it relied on other companies’ machinery to run many of its tests, and that some of those tests yielded inaccurate results. In fact, as Carreyrou reported, the company was hawking a tale that was too good to be true.’

Bibliography

  1. The 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. Staff of The Wall Street Journal

2. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou and Martin Peers, October 31, 2002. How Messier Kept Cash Crisis At Vivendi Hidden for Months

3. The 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Investigative Reporting. The Wall Street Journal Staff

4. Medicare Unmasked. The Wall Street Journal forced the government to publicly release important Medicare data that had been kept secret for decades. http://www.pulitzer.org/files/20…

5. Medicare Unmasked. Sprawling Medicare Struggles To Fight Fraud. http://www.pulitzer.org/files/20…

6. Medicare Unmasked. Doctor “Self-Referral” Thrives on Legal Loophole. http://www.pulitzer.org/files/20…

7. 67th Annual George Polk Awards in Journalism. LIU 2015 Winners

8. http://www.liu.edu/~/media/Redes…

9. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, October 16, 2015. Hot Startup Theranos Has Struggled With Its Blood-Test Technology

10. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, October 16, 2015. Hot Startup Theranos Dials Back Lab Tests at FDA’s Behest

11. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, October 21, 2015. Theranos CEO: Company Is in a ‘Pause Period’;

12. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, November 6, 2015. Theranos Searches for Director to Oversee Laboratory

13. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, November 10, 2015. Safeway, Theranos Split After $350 Million Deal Fizzles

14. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, December 20, 2015. U.S. Probes Theranos Complaints

15. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, December 27, 2015. At Theranos, Many Strategies and Snags

16. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, January 27, 2016. Theranos Lab Practices Pose Risk to Patient Health, Regulators Say

17. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, February 10, 2016. Walgreens Threatens to End Theranos Agreement

18. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, March 28, 2016. Theranos Results Could Throw Off Medical Decisions, Study Finds

19. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, May 12, 2016. Theranos Executive Sunny Balwani to Depart Amid Regulatory Probes

20. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, May 18, 2016. Theranos Voids Two Years of Edison Blood-Test Results

21. The Wall Street Journal, Rolfe Winkler and John Carreyrou, October 28, 2015. Theranos Authorizes New Shares That Could Raise Valuation

22. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, Christopher Weaver and Michael Siconolfi, January 24, 2016. Deficiencies Found at Theranos Lab

23. The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Weaver, Michael Siconolfi and John Carreyrou, February 10, 2016. Walgreens Threatens to End Theranos Agreement

24. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou and Christopher Weaver, March 8, 2016. Theranos Ran Tests Despite Quality Problems

25. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou and Christopher Weaver, March 31, 2016. Theranos Devices Often Failed Accuracy Requirements

26. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou and Christopher Weaver, April 13, 2016. Regulators Propose Banning Theranos Founder Elizabeth Holmes for at Least Two Years

27. The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Weaver, John Carreyrou and Michael Siconolfi, April 18, 2016. Theranos Is Subject of Criminal Probe by U.S.

28. The Wall Street Journal, John Carreyrou, Christopher Weaver and Michael Siconolfi, May 25, 2016. Craving Growth, Walgreens Dismissed Its Doubts About Theranos

29. Gawker, J.K. Trotter, May 26, 2016. This Is Why Billionaire Peter Thiel Wants to End Gawker

30. The Vanity Fair, Nick Bilton, May 2, 2016. The Secret Culprit in the Theranos Mess

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-reputation-of-John-Carreyrou-the-investigative-reporter-who-wrote-a-critical-piece-about-Theranos-like/answer/Tirumalai-Kamala

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