Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Celebrity journalism may contribute positively to consumer health behaviors

Date:
October 19, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Some readers of celebrity health stories report that the stories have an impact on their own behavior and how they discuss health issues.

Celebrity journalism is often considered to be without merit, discounted due to its sensational details and lack of news value. MU researchers now say that celebrity journalism may be an underappreciated way to communicate health messages. In a recent award-winning paper, Amanda Hinnant, assistant professor of magazine journalism in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found some readers of celebrity health stories report that the stories have an impact on their own behavior and how they discuss health issues.

Hinnant, with co-author Elizabeth Hendrickson from the University of Tennessee, utilized focus groups that discussed various celebrity health news stories and how each story affected the participants. Previous research had indicated that after a person read a health news story, they would then seek out interpersonal advice from a friend or family member before deciding to change their health behaviors. Hinnant says celebrity health stories could circumvent that step.

"Based on the discussion of participants, we observed that it is possible for celebrities to serve as surrogate interpersonal contacts for people," Hinnant said. "Therefore, it would be less likely for a consumer of celebrity media to check with a friend or family member before changing a health behavior based on a mass-mediated message. The presence of a celebrity in a health story could serve as that interpersonal contact for the reader."

Hinnant says participants in her research demonstrated how they took celebrity health behaviors seriously, weighing the moral implications and mitigating circumstances of a celebrity's life before judging a health behavior. Her study also revealed how the readers are an active audience, one that considers context instead of just conduct. Hinnant believes a person may be more likely to respond to a celebrity health story if that person has past experience with the specific issue in question.

"A story about a celebrity's postpartum health behavior will likely elicit stronger reactions from consumers with children than from those without," Hinnant said. "Similarly, a story about a celebrity experiencing addiction may stimulate a stronger response from consumers who have witnessed a similar circumstance. In these cases, the health messages likely have different effects on experienced consumers than non-experienced consumers."

Hinnant believes celebrity health messages play an important role in society, in that for many celebrity media consumers, they are a catalyst for discussions about health information. She says her research indicates that reaction to health messages is often linked to a consumer's own experience with the communicated health behavior.

Hinnant's paper was presented at "The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication" conference.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Celebrity journalism may contribute positively to consumer health behaviors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121400.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, October 19). Celebrity journalism may contribute positively to consumer health behaviors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121400.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Celebrity journalism may contribute positively to consumer health behaviors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018121400.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins