A former head of Cigna corporate communications who left his career to advocate for meaningful healthcare reform will soon launch his own media platform.
Tennessee native Wendell Potter attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville then began a career in journalism before landing in healthcare communications. He spoke with the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists during a lunch meeting Sept. 16.
Potter left corporate communications eight years ago, he said, after a “crisis of conscience.”
“Corporate communications in the healthcare industry forced me to write and speak in half truths,” he said. “My work was designed to mislead the public.”
Potter was the head of communications at Humana, Inc. And at Cigna Corp. he later led the corporate communications team and served as chief spokesperson.
His work was designed to “ensure no one knew how the healthcare industry behaved,” he said. “We deceived the public from creating front groups to sending out survey results that were designed to influence people to vote against their own best interests.”
Since leaving the healthcare communication field, Potter has written three books that reveal the corruption of corporate America. His latest book is titled “Nation on the Take.”
Now as an advocate for reform, Potter said he plans to launch the media platform “The Potter Report” that will carry on his mission of investigative journalism.
Financially strapped news organizations have lost the resources that once funded quality investigative journalism, Potter said, and the cable-based news companies are clearly biased. The result is skewed public opinion that “contributes to division in society.”
Potter said with “The Potter Report,” he plans to take aim at corporations that are deceiving the public in order to benefit stockholders.
“There’s almost no reporting being done these days that’s holding corporate America responsible,” he said. “I want to convey it doesn’t have to be that way. We want to get people involved … and foster civic engagement.”
“I want to have readers from East Tennessee coming to this site and finding it of value.”
-Rachel Wedding McClelland
President, East TN Pro