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J Health Commun. 2010 Jan;15(1):76-94. doi: 10.1080/10810730903460559.

Antecedents to agenda setting and framing in health news: an examination of priority, angle, source, and resource usage from a national survey of U.S. health reporters and editors.

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  • 1Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Health Commun. 2010 Jul;15(5):574.


The influence of news media on audience cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors in the realm of politics, race relations, science, and health has been extensively documented.Agenda setting and framing studies show that news media influence how people develop schema and place priorities on issues, with media stories serving as a major source of issue frames. Although news media are an important intermediary in the translation of scientific knowledge to different publics, little has been documented about the production of health news and factors that may predict media agenda setting and framing in health journalism. We used data from a 2005 national survey of U.S. health reporters and editors to examine predictors of source, resource, story angle, and frame usage among reporters and editors by variables such as organizational structure, individual characteristics of respondents (such as education and years working as a journalist),and perceptions of occupational autonomy. Multivariable logistic regression models revealed several differences among U.S. health reports and editors in the likelihood of using a variety of news sources, resources, priorities, and angles in reporting. Media agenda setting and framing theories suggest that practitioners familiar with media processes can work with journalists to frame messages, thereby increasing the probability of accurate and effective reporting. Results from this study may help to inform interactions between public health and medical practitioners and the press [corrected].

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