Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Health news stories on local television news broadcasts are too short

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have found that while local television news is the most common source of health news for Americans, most health news stories on local news broadcasts are only 30 seconds or less in length.

Previous research has shown that the most popular way Americans get their health news is by watching local television broadcasts. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that while local television news is the most common source of health news for Americans, most health news stories on local news broadcasts are only 30 seconds or less in length. Glen Cameron, the Maxine Wilson Gregory Chair in Journalism Research and professor of strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism, says this trend may lead to misunderstanding of important but complicated health news stories.

Related Articles


"This pattern of local health news reporting may be problematic because of the complex and rather technical nature of many health news stories," Cameron said. "For example, there is much medical jargon such as "pseudoephedrine," "dementia," or "cardiovascular arrest," involved with reporting health news; stories that are too short can leave viewers confused and inappropriately alarmed or complacent. In this sense, health news may need to be allocated more time to be truly beneficial to viewers."

Cameron also found that health news stories that dealt with advancements or treatments were mainly reported using gain-framed messages while stories about statistics and trends were mainly reported by loss-framed messages. Gain-framed messages communicate by giving positive reasons for avoiding a harmful behavior, while loss-framed messages focus on the negative consequences of continuing a harmful behavior. For example, a gain-framed story might report that non-smokers are less likely to have heart disease while a loss-framed story might report that smokers are much more likely to suffer from heart disease. Cameron says this is important because people tend to react more positively to gain-framed messages about living healthy lifestyles. This tendency is called "self-efficacy."

"One of the important things about health news stories is whether they provide specific directions and successfully encourage viewers to take healthy actions," Cameron said. "The more self-efficacy people have, the more control they believe they have over their behavior, which can lead to positive behavior change. Self-efficacy influences the effort a person puts forth to change behavior and to continue, despite barriers and setbacks that may pose challenges. Television health news should seek to build audiences' feelings of self-efficacy in order to promote positive health behaviors."

Cameron says one example is the H1N1, or Swine Flu, epidemic. Due to concerns about the flu outbreak, an increased number of gain-framed reports, including information on how to prevent catching H1N1, were successful in helping to lessen the impact of the outbreak.

This study was published in Health Communication.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Hyunmin Lee, YoungAh Lee, Sun-A Park, Erin Willis, Glen T. Cameron. What Are Americans Seeing? Examining the Message Frames of Local Television Health News Stories. Health Communication, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2012.743842

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Health news stories on local television news broadcasts are too short." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131110.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, October 21). Health news stories on local television news broadcasts are too short. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131110.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Health news stories on local television news broadcasts are too short." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021131110.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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