Newspaper framing of fatal motor vehicle crashes in four Midwestern cities in the United States, 1999-2000.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the public health messages conveyed by newspaper coverage of fatal motor vehicle crashes and determine the extent to which press coverage accurately reflects real risks and crash trends. METHODS: Crash details were extracted from two years of newspaper coverage of fatal crashes in four Midwestern cities in the United States. Details and causal factors identified by reporters were compared to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) using odds ratios and two tailed z tests. RESULTS: Papers covered 278 fatal crashes over the two year period, in contrast to 846 fatal crashes documented in FARS. Papers assigned blame in 90% of crashes covered, under-reported restraint use and driver's risk of death, failed to reflect the protective value of restraints, and misrepresented the roles played by alcohol and teen drivers. CONCLUSION: Newspaper coverage did not accurately reflect real risk. Papers presented fatal crashes as dramas with a victim/villain storyline; in keeping with this narrative strategy, papers were most likely to cover stories where a driver survived to take the blame. By highlighting crashes that diverge from the norm, focusing on the assignment of blame to a single party, and failing to convey the message that preventive practices like seatbelt use increase odds for survival, newspapers removed crashes from a public health context and positioned them as individual issues. Public health practitioners can work with media outlets in their areas to draw attention to misrepresentations and change the way these stories are framed. (+info)
Building a health promotion agenda in local newspapers.
This is an analysis of newspaper coverage of breast cancer topics during a community-based health promotion campaign. The 4-year campaign, called the Breast Cancer Screening Campaign (BCSC), was devoted to promoting mammography screening in a Midwestern state. The BCSC included both paid advertising and volunteer-led community interventions that were intended, in part, to increase the flow of information about breast cancer and mammography screening in the local mass media. Findings showed that intervention was positively associated with local newspaper content about breast cancer, but the effects were confined to communities served by weekly newspapers. We discuss the implications of this study for future community-based health promotion campaigns. (+info)
Print media response to SARS in New Zealand.
To examine the media response to severe acute respiratory syndrome, we reviewed New Zealand's major newspaper (261 articles for 3 months). While important accurate health messages were frequently included, some were missed (e.g., hand washing in only 2% of articles). No incorrect information was identified, and health spokespersons were accurately quoted. (+info)
SARS risk perception, knowledge, precautions, and information sources, the Netherlands.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related risk perceptions, knowledge, precautionary actions, and information sources were studied in the Netherlands during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Although respondents were highly aware of the SARS outbreak, the outbreak did not result in unnecessary precautionary actions or fears. (+info)
Newspapers: a source for injury surveillance?
Newspapers have not been extensively evaluated as an injury surveillance source. We compared clippings with medical examiner records for 45 residential fire deaths and 58 drownings of children to assess extent, completeness, and accuracy of newspaper coverage. Newspapers covered 96% of the fire fatalities and 78% of the drownings and contained more information than medical examiner records on several factors, including fire cause and smoke detector presence, pool fences, warning signs, and supervision of children. (+info)
The role of the print media in informing the community about safety in public hospitals in Victoria, Australia: the case of "golden staph".
OBJECTIVE: In this article the authors explore how the print media contribute to information and education of the community on issues of safety and quality in the health services, since this is an important avenue of such information and education for many members of the community. STUDY DESIGN: The authors undertook a qualitative study of a random sample of articles in the Australian print press between 1996 and 2004 where "golden staph" was presented as a major issue of risk to the safety of consumers of health services. The content of each article was examined with reference to several criteria including title, the source of the article, and the metaphorical language employed by the journalist. RESULTS: Results show that while the articles are substantially accurate as sources of information on concrete events, they do not serve as sources of education on issues of safety, typically apportioning blame and serving to maintain the status quo. CONCLUSION: The authors conclude that print media are not a good source of community education in areas of safety and quality and do not assist members of the community to participate in addressing issues of safety in health services. (+info)
Media effects on students during SARS outbreak.
A few months after the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, a sample of Canadian undergraduate university students completed a questionnaire that showed that, despite believing media coverage of the outbreak was excessive, they had little anxiety about acquiring SARS. Additionally, 69% of participants failed a SARS-specific knowledge section of the questionnaire. (+info)
Influence of various recruitment strategies on the study population and outcome of a randomized controlled trial involving patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of 2 different recruitment methods on the characteristics of participants with osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip or knee and on the efficacy of an exercise program. METHODS: In a clinical trial on the effectiveness of exercise therapy in OA of the hip or knee, 2 groups of patients were recruited: one group through referrals by physiotherapists (PT group, n = 110) and one group invited by newspaper articles (NP group, n = 90). At baseline, demographic, clinical, and psychosocial data were collected and compared between the 2 groups using chi-square and Student's t-tests. After 13 weeks of exercise therapy and followup assessments at weeks 39 and 65, the main outcome measures (pain, physical function, and global perceived effect) were assessed and compared by multiple regression analysis. RESULTS: The NP group reported less pain and tiredness at baseline, although more joints were affected with osteoarthritis. The PT group scored higher on the scale 'powerful-others' of locus of control. After adjusting for baseline differences, the effect of treatment after 13, 39, and 65 weeks was comparable for both groups for all outcome measures. CONCLUSION: Recruitment method affects clinical characteristics and physical functioning of patients recruited for the study. A mix of recruitment strategies does not seem to affect treatment outcome, on the condition that adjustments are made for baseline differences. (+info)