The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3092.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 11:42 AM

Abstract #55541

Using newspapers as an evaluative tool for media advocacy

Catherine Siebel, MA and Katherine Clegg Smith, PhD. Health Research & Policy Centers, University of Illinois - Chicago, 850 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 400, Chicago, IL 60607, 312-355-4551,

Potential strategies for reducing tobacco use, either across or within specific populations, are as varied as they are numerous. Correspondingly, evaluating such endeavors must be tailored to suit the specific needs of a particular program, and often must include several distinct components. This paper will discuss the use of newspaper articles as data in evaluating the media advocacy component of the SmokeLess States initiative, a program which supports the activities of statewide coalitions working to improve the tobacco policy environment. Our data are comprised of tobacco-related newspaper articles clipped from every daily newspaper in the country (N=1492), beginning in January of 2002 and continuing through the end of 2004 (in addition to a baseline year, 2001, during which a representative sample of newspapers was used). By the end of the evaluation, we expect to have amassed an archive of over 200,000 articles. From these, a random 1/3 sample of articles has been drawn, which are then coded for twelve variables that assess the content (e.g. education & prevention, youth access, tobacco farming), slant (positive or negative toward tobacco control efforts) and prominence of the article (e.g., front page, image associated with article). This paper will address the importance of media advocacy as a tactic in tobacco control efforts, discuss how our evaluation serves as a reliable and valid measure of advocacy, and present the first preliminary findings from our first year of data.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Tobacco, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: SmokeLess States Initiative
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.

Tobacco Media and Marketing

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA