Concept: Marshall McLuhan
Mass media plays an important role in communicating about health research and services to patients, and in shaping public perceptions and decisions about health. Healthcare professionals also play an important role in providing patients with credible, evidence-based and up-to-date information on a wide range of health issues. This study aims to explore primary care nurses' experiences of how mass media influences frontline healthcare.
News coverage of Islamic extremism is reigniting debates about the media’s role in promoting prejudice toward Muslims. Psychological theories of media-induced prejudice date to the 1950’s, and find support from controlled experiments. However, national-scale studies of media effects on Muslim prejudice are lacking. Orthogonal research investigating media-induced prejudice toward immigrants has failed to establish any link. Moreover, it has been found that people interpret the news in ways that confirm pre-existing attitudes, suggesting that media induced Muslim prejudice in liberal democracies is unlikely. Here, we test the association between news exposure and anti-Muslim prejudice in a diverse national sample from one of the world’s most tolerant societies, where media effects are least likely to hold (N = 16,584, New Zealand). In support of media-induced Islamophobia, results show that greater news exposure is associated with both increased anger and reduced warmth toward Muslims. Additionally, the relationship between media exposure and anti-Muslim prejudice does not reliably vary with political ideology, supporting claims that it is widespread representations of Muslims in the news, rather than partisan media biases, that drives anti-Muslim prejudice.
This study examined the mass media and personal characteristics leading to health communication inequality as well as the role of certain factors in health communication’s mass media process. Using both sociodemographic variables and Maletzke’s model as a basis, we investigated the relationship between selected components of the mass communication process, the receiving of reliable health information as a result of health communication, and the condition of its use. The study involved 1853 people in Turkey and was structured in two parts. The first part dealt with questions regarding sociodemographic characteristics, the use of the mass media and the public’s ability to obtain health information from it, the public’s perception of the trustworthiness of health information, and the state of translating this information into health-promoting behaviours. In the second part, questions related to the mass communication process were posed using a five-point Likert scale. This section tried to establish structural equation modelling using the judgements prepared on the basis of the mass media model. Through this study, it has been observed that sociodemographic factors such as education and age affect individuals' use of and access to communication channels; individuals' trust in and selection of health information from the programme content and their changing health behaviours (as a result of the health information) are related to both their perception of the mass communication process and to sociodemographic factors, but are more strongly related to the former.
Advocacy informed by scientific evidence is necessary to influence policy and planning to address physical inactivity. The mass media is a key arena for this advocacy. This study investigated the perceptions and practices of news media professionals reporting physical activity and sedentariness to inform strategic communication about these issues.
The Western Australian (WA) ‘LiveLighter’ (LL) mass media campaign ran during June-August and September-October 2012. The principal campaign ad graphically depicts visceral fat of an overweight individual (‘why’ change message), whereas supporting ads demonstrate simple changes to increase activity and eat healthier (‘how’ to change message). Cross-sectional surveys among population samples aged 25-49 were undertaken pre-campaign (N = 2012) and following the two media waves (N = 2005 and N = 2009) in the intervention (WA) and comparison state (Victoria) to estimate the population impact of LL. Campaign awareness was 54% after the first media wave and overweight adults were more likely to recall LL and perceive it as personally relevant. Recall was also higher among parents, but equal between socio-economic groups. The ‘why’ message about health-harms of overweight rated higher than ‘how’ messages about lifestyle change, on perceived message effectiveness which is predictive of health-related intention and behaviour change. State-by-time interactions showed population-level increases in self-referent thoughts about the health-harms of overweight (P < 0.05) and physical activity intentions (P < 0.05). Endorsement of stereotypes of overweight individuals did not increase after LL aired. LL was associated with some population-level improvements in proximal and intermediate markers of campaign impact. However, sustained campaign activity will be needed to impact behaviour.
Drinking water insecurity and related health outcomes often disproportionately impact Indigenous communities internationally. Understanding media coverage of these water-related issues can provide insight into the ways in which public perceptions are shaped, with potential implications for decision-making and action. This study aimed to examine the extent, range, and nature of newspaper coverage of drinking water security in Canadian Indigenous communities.
Television consumption influences perceptions of attractive female body size. However, cross-cultural research examining media influence on body ideals is typically confounded by differences in the availability of reliable and diverse foodstuffs. 112 participants were recruited from 3 Nicaraguan villages that differed in television consumption and nutritional status, such that the contribution of both factors could be revealed. Participants completed a female figure preference task, reported their television consumption, and responded to several measures assessing nutritional status. Communities with higher television consumption and/or higher nutritional status preferred thinner female bodies than communities with lower television consumption and/or lower nutritional status. Bayesian mixed models estimated the plausible range of effects for television consumption, nutritional status, and other relevant variables on individual preferences. The model explained all meaningful differences between our low-nutrition villages, and television consumption, after sex, was the most likely of these predictors to contribute to variation in preferences (probability mass >95% when modelling only variables with zero-order associations with preferences, but only 90% when modelling all possible predictors). In contrast, we found no likely link with nutritional status. We thus found evidence that where media access and nutritional status are confounded, media is the more likely predictor of body ideals.
Through a systematic review of the literature, this article summarizes and evaluates evidence for the effectiveness of mass media interventions for child survival. To be included, studies had to describe a mass media intervention; address a child survival health topic; present quantitative data from a low- or middle-income country; use an evaluation design that compared outcomes using pre- and postintervention data, treatment versus comparison groups, or postintervention data across levels of exposure; and report a behavioral or health outcome. The 111 campaign evaluations that met the inclusion criteria included 15 diarrheal disease, 8 immunization, 2 malaria, 14 nutrition, 1 preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, 4 respiratory disease, and 67 reproductive health interventions. These evaluations were then sorted into weak (n = 33), moderate (n = 32), and stronger evaluations (n = 46) on the basis of the sampling method, the evaluation design, and efforts to address threats to inference of mass media effects. The moderate and stronger evaluations provide evidence that mass media-centric campaigns can positively impact a wide range of child survival health behaviors.
Online social media has recently irrupted as the last major venue for the propagation of news and cultural content, competing with traditional mass media and allowing citizens to access new sources of information. In this paper, we study collectively filtered news and popular content in Twitter, known as Trending Topics (TTs), to quantify the extent to which they show similar biases known for mass media. We use two datasets collected in 2013 and 2014, including more than 300.000 TTs from 62 countries. The existing patterns of leader-follower relationships among countries reveal systemic biases known for mass media: Countries concentrate their attention to small groups of other countries, generating a pattern of centralization in which TTs follow the gradient of wealth across countries. At the same time, we find subjective biases within language communities linked to the cultural similarity of countries, in which countries with closer cultures and shared languages tend to follow each other’s TTs. Moreover, using a novel methodology based on the Google News service, we study the influence of mass media in TTs for four countries. We find that roughly half of the TTs in Twitter overlap with news reported by mass media, and that the rest of TTs are more likely to spread internationally within Twitter. Our results confirm that online social media have the power to independently spread content beyond mass media, but at the same time social media content follows economic incentives and is subject to cultural factors and language barriers.
We investigated whether changes in perinatal outcomes occurred following introduction of key tobacco control policies in the Netherlands: smoke-free legislation in workplaces plus a tobacco tax increase and mass media campaign (January-February 2004); and extension of the smoke-free law to the hospitality industry, accompanied by another tax increase and mass media campaign (July 2008). This was a national quasi-experimental study using Netherlands Perinatal Registry data (2000-2011; registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02189265). Primary outcome measures were: perinatal mortality, preterm birth, and being small-for-gestational age (SGA). The association with timing of the tobacco control policies was investigated using interrupted time series logistic regression analyses with adjustment for confounders. Among 2,069,695 singleton births, there were 13,027 (0.6%) perinatal deaths, 116,043 (5.6%) preterm live-births and 187,966 (9.1%) SGA live-births. The 2004 policies were not associated with significant changes in the odds of developing any of the primary outcomes. After the 2008 policy change, a -4.4% (95% CI -2.4; -6.4, p < 0.001) decrease in odds of being SGA was observed. A reduction in SGA births, but not preterm birth or perinatal mortality, was observed in the Netherlands after extension of the smoke-free workplace law to bars and restaurants in conjunction with a tax increase and mass media campaign.