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J Pak Med Assoc. 2010 Jun;60(6):460-4.

Using TV talk show for public health media advocacy: a case study.

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Johns Hopkins University Centre for Communication Programmes, Pakistan.



Much of the focus of public health communication has been on bringing about individual change with relatively little attention to changing public policy through mass media. We conceptualized using TV talk shows as a tool to influence district level health policy.


A series of TV talk shows was recorded to present the maternal and newborn health situation and promises of public representatives and health officials from 10 project districts. The shows were aired on national circuit. Panellists were interviewed after the airing to know how much were they influenced by this advocacy intervention.


Both public representatives and health officials remembered the issue of maternal and newborn health, the project and their participation in the show. Two third of the participants felt more accountable after having given on-camera commitments while half of them informed there were policy discussions or progress in implementation of decisions to improve maternal and newborn health after attending the show. The participants felt a sense of accountability after appearing on TV screen to make pledges on improving the health situation in their district. They appreciated this advocacy initiative and expressed their desire to participate in such shows in future as well. The cost of production and airing of the show was $1800 per episode.


TV talk show is an effective media intervention having low costs, and can be used for public health advocacy in developing countries.

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