A great piece of public health reporting, which I have come across in the book The China Syndrome by Karl Taro Greenfeld. I rather like the book which is a good starter for anyone interested in the intersection of public policy/human rights, the public health infrastructure, and epidemiology. It could, however, have a different title, as the lessons can be generalized outside of China. And there was another book or movie by that name, about some lose Chinese nukes or some such nonsense.
At the intersection of science, freedom of the press and political power a lot of very interesting things happen, and it is enlightening to see how people resolve their competing allegiances. A similar dynamic is now playing out in the reporting of global warming, with some saying, basically “Global Warming is only a rumor,” and others showing some evidence, which is being largely ignored by Bush & Co. (Another example of Convergence?)
The book is about the SARS epidemic, with a special focus on how it got started and and personalities involved. In this case, a reporter in China who is aware his work will be censored, still manages to get out all the essential information. This is one of the very first stories about what would later be named SARS (Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the reporter does an excellent job, being caught between the reality of government censors and his responsibility to provide information about a matter of overwhelming public iimportance:
From the Heyuan Daily: