Many scientific journals report on new and important findings in prevention research. However, these findings are seldom reported on by news media, and even then, rarely presented in terms that are locally relevant. In year one of a five-year project to promote dissemination and translation of prevention research findings through media, we conducted an observational study of preventative research coverage in small market media. We tracked daily newspaper, television and radio stories in four Missouri communities for one year. Coverage of prevention was scant (2% of all newspaper articles and 4% of all radio and television broadcasts) and stories emanating from scientific journals were even rarer (less than 10% of the 2% of newspaper articles included). Although the television news programs tracked each had designated health segments, much of the airtime in these segments reported on new medical procedures or new pharmaceutical discoveries. Newspapers, like television, tended to include articles on new technologies and treatments. Topics addressing intervention research tended to be less prominent, not appearing in the first segment of television news broadcast or the front page of sections within the newspaper. Very few newspaper articles (about 20% of articles meeting the criteria) included specific recommendations for readers about ways to improve their health and prevent disease. It appears that the frequency and nature of prevention research coverage in news media is not conducive to population awareness, education, or change. Intervention efforts now underway to address this problem will be presented and discussed.
Learning Objectives: Those who attend this session will be able to: 1. Describe patterns of health prevention researched covered in four small market media areas in Missouri. 2. Compare and contrast health prevention coverage in the three mass media of television, radio, and newspaper. 3. Discuss a community assessment for the measurement of patterns of media consumption, perceptions of the media, perceptions of health in the media, and perception of health in general in small market communities
Keywords: Media Advocacy, Prevention
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA