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.

"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 July 25, 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 July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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