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 23, 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 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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