152159 Media-directed intervention increases the likelihood of cancer stories in Black newspapers

Wednesday, November 7, 2007: 12:30 PM

Sarah A. Betsworth , School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
Douglas A. Luke, PhD , Center for Tobacco Policy Research, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, MO
Glen T. Cameron, PhD , School of Journalism, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Charlene A. Caburnay, MPH , Health Communication Research Laboratory, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Matthew W. Kreuter, PhD, MPH , Health Communication Research Laboratory, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of cancer, as they have the highest cancer mortality rates of any racial and ethnic group. Black newspapers are a trusted and valued source of information in the African American community, and a medium through which readers can obtain cancer information specifically. This study examines the cancer coverage of a national sample of 24 Black newspapers before and during a media-based intervention to increase quantity and quality of cancer stories. The media intervention included sending localized and race-specific news releases about cancer to half (12) of the Black newspapers starting in December 2005. We then compared cancer coverage pre- and post- intervention on four outcomes: the likelihood of cancer stories, use of a disparity frame, inclusion of mobilization information, and citing the National Cancer Institute. Black newspapers in the intervention group had a significantly higher number of cancer stories as a proportion of all health stories (OR=1.68, p=.022, N=4,755). They also had a significantly greater use of a disparities frame (OR=1.95, p=.13, N=708), behavior mobilization information (OR=2.17, p=.063, N=708), and the National Cancer Institute as an information source (OR=1.54, p=.52, N=696). These findings suggest that media interventions can affect the amount and content of cancer stories in Black newspapers, and therefore may be instrumental in influencing individual and institutional health behaviors to reduce the cancer burden in African Americans.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the operational definition for classifying a story based on the four outcomes: cancer story, disparities frame, behavior mobilization, and National Cancer Institute source. 2. Identify differences in coverage of cancer stories, based on the four outcomes, between Black intervention and control newspapers. 3. Provide possible reasons for the significant differences in likelihood and type of cancer stories in Black intervention newspapers.

Keywords: Cancer, Media Advocacy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.