187037 Re-thinking health communication: An evaluation of Baltimore's first Youth Media Festival

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deborah S. Edelman, DrPH , Public Health Media, Baltimore, MD
Background: Research has shown that the media portrays youth mostly in negative ways, disproportionately reporting on youth crime and violence, which reinforces stereotypes and perpetuates health-compromising conditions. Might youth-produced media provide more accurate and positive images of youth, and increase youth and community well–being? That question led to a community-based evaluation of Baltimore's first Youth Media Festival. The event showcased creative work—videos, poetry, paintings, photography—by 118 Baltimore city youth, ages 12-18, representing more than 30 schools and 12 after-school programs.

Methods: Having obtained IRB approval, a research team collaborated with nonprofit community groups who were organizing the festival. The primary research instrument was a one-page audience survey, distributed to attendees over age 10 (n=272) and collected at the event. The response rate was 67% (n=182).

Results: Nearly 78% of respondents said that the Youth Media Festival changed their perspective of youth in Baltimore. More than nine out of ten respondents said they would attend another Youth Media Festival. Only 1% said they were “not impressed.”

Conclusions: This research project suggests that giving youth an opportunity to portray themselves may provide more accurate images of youth, challenge stereotypes and ultimately boost youth and community health. The results were immediately useful to the community by helping to make the festival an annual event. Further study of youth-produced media could prove vital in promoting adolescent health and healthy communities. Particularly in this population, letting youth speak for themselves may be more likely to promote public health than delivering health messages.

Learning Objectives:
* Recognize the link between public health and youth-produced media * Describe the role of mass communication as a social determinant of health * Evaluate a media program in terms of its contribution to community health promotion

Keywords: Prevention, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: EDUCATION Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Urban Health, June 2004 – June 2006 Initiated Youth Radio Analysis Project (YRAP) and conducted community-based participatory evaluation of Baltimore’s 1st Youth Media Festival (held November 2005). Fellowship sponsored by the Urban Health Institute, funded through the Center for Adolescent Health in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences. University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health Doctor of Public Health, May 2004 Dissertation: RADIO FOR HEALTH: A Multi–Method Analysis of Radio Broadcasting as a Means of Promoting Public Health Committee: Warren Winkelstein, Jr., M.D., M.P.H. (Chair, Dissertation) S. Leonard Syme, Ph.D. (Chair, Oral Examination) William Drummond, M.S. (School of Journalism) Residency: University of California, San Francisco, Institute for Health Policy Studies Tobacco Control Research Group of Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D. (2001) Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, New York MS, May 1985 Project: Women and the Challenge of Longevity Advisor: Kenneth K. Goldstein PUBLICATIONS (Partial list) Edelman, D.S. The Media and Public Health: How Community Participation Fits In, presented at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health, Behavior and Society seminar, January 12, 2006. Edelman, D.S. Youth radio: Documenting the Public Health Impact of Radio Programs Involving Teenagers, presented at the American Public Health Association 133rd annual meeting, Philadelphia, December 12, 2005 Edelman, D. S. The Media as a Social Determinant of Health, presented at the University of Lugano’s conference on “Tailoring Health Messages: Bridging the Gap between Social and Humanistic Perspectives on Health Communication,” Ascona, Switzerland, July 10, 2005 Edelman, D. S. Radio for Health: Evaluating Public Health Impact of Youth Radio Programs, presented to the Youth Media Advocacy Coalition, Wide Angle Community Media, Baltimore, May 5, 2005 Edelman, D.S. More Than Just Talk: How Radio Talk Shows Impact Public Health, paper for Broadcast Education Association’s 50th annual meeting, Las Vegas, April 2005 (won Scholar to Scholar competition) Edelman, D.S. Evaluating Youth Radio from a Public Health Perspective, presented at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ 30th Annual Meeting, April 16, 2005 Edelman, D.S. The Media and Public Health: A Strategic Analysis, presented at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Urban Health Institute seminar, March 15, 2005 Edelman, D.S. Radio for Health: Why Access to the Airwaves is Vital to Public Health, presented at the American Public Health Association 132nd annual meeting, November 8, 2004, Washington, D.C., in a roundtable session on “Innovations in Teaching, Researching and Applying Health Communication” Edelman, D.S. Radio for Health: A Multi-Method Analysis of Radio Broadcasting as a Means of Promoting Public Health, dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, May 2004 Edelman, D.S. Bringing Mind-Body Medicine to the Poor, Advances, Journal of the Institute for the Advancement of Health, Vol. 5, No. 2
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.