Mass communication and health promotion: The power of the media and public opinion
1994 (English)In: Health Communication, ISSN 1041-0236, E-ISSN 1532-7027, Vol. 6, no 1, 21-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
By means of content analysis, this study evaluated the ways in which a community-based preventive program in Sweden in the field of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes was reported in the news by the Swedish mass media We were also interested in determining whether, and to what extent, 5 years of exposure to the media had affected the health habits of the residents in the intervention area. Thus, the views of the public were obtained via a cross-sectional posttest survey of all adults 16 to 80 years of age. Responses were obtained from 65% of the population. Data were interpreted within a framework of a three-dimensional power approach: control of issue resolution, control of information content, and emphasis and control of ideology. The health program has attracted much attention, and some of the contents have been commented on in depth (e.g., dietary habits, health examinations, and organizational issues). The authorities, including the health and medical staff, were the main actors on the media stage. The media coverage was largely restricted to middle-aged men, whereas women, children, young people, and pensioners were less salient in the news. The mass media were found to emphasize an individual standpoint concerning health habits, and when the "ordinary people" appeared it was as exemplary models in the spirit of the health program. The results indicated sex and social class differences among people recalling the media news. Men in manual occupations were the least affected by the media coverage of the health program.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1994. Vol. 6, no 1, 21-36 p.
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-65963DOI: 10.1207/s15327027hc0601_2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-65963DiVA: diva2:605473