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The Media and Public Health

  • Date Submitted: 09/06/2010 11:29 AM
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The Media and Public Health

Angela Roberson

Community and Public Health

Lori Bednarchik

October 12, 2009

      The local and international media play a vital role as the link between health workers and the larger public. Health authorities educate and entrust the media with essential health information, which is then relayed to the public in readily accessible formats through a variety of media channels.  In order to distribute information about the H1N1 virus to the public, the U.S. Government developed a training program to help the media understand the complexity of this disease so that they would be able to report about it effectively. The media helps health workers expand their audience reach, which is crucial considering the fact that face to face channels of communication often require too many human resources and reach only a small number of people in large, underserved rural areas. The media provides an important link between the rural residents and vital health information.   In this paper I will discuss how major health issues and concerns are discussed through the media.   It is my goal to explore if some health conditions are over and under discussed. Lastly I will talk about if what they are reporting are pressing issues and why.

      The media is an effective way to persuade audiences to adopt new behaviors, or to remind them of critical information.   Informing the public about new diseases, epidemics and where to seek help should be a main concern when reporting health conditions. They can also keep the public updated about immunization campaigns. The media can empower rural populations to fight major causes of infant mortality, diseases which can be prevented through vaccination, an immunization campaign or availability of new products or services, teach new health skills, promote new health behaviors, and increase community acceptance of health workers.   For this reason it is important that the media focuses on more than one...

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