1st Edition

Mass Media and Health Examining Media Impact on Individuals and the Health Environment

By Kim Walsh-Childers Copyright 2017
    536 Pages
    by Routledge

    536 Pages
    by Routledge

    Mass Media and Health: Examining Media Impact on Individuals and the Health Environment covers media health influences from a variety of angles, including the impact on individual and public health, the intentionality of these effects, and the nature of the outcomes. Author Kim Walsh-Childers helps readers understand the influence that mass media has on an individual’s health beliefs and, in turn, their behaviors. She explains how public health policy can be affected, altering the environment in which a community’s members make choices, and discusses the unintentional health effects of mass media, examining them through the strategic lens of news framing and advocacy campaigns.

    Written for students across a variety of disciplines, Mass Media and Health will serve as primary reading for courses examining the broader view of mass media and health impacts, as well as providing supplemental reading for courses on health communication, public health campaigns, health journalism, and media effects.


    Chapter 1: The media environment, U.S. health and the media-health effects matrix

    Section 1 Introduction

    Chapter 2: Health information online – Building a web to improve health behavior

    Chapter 3: Tobacco advertising – The paradox of marketing to shorten customers’ lives

    Chapter 4: Predictable negative effects – Marketing alcohol misuse and abuse

    Chapter 5: Take a pill for "better health" – Direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising

    Chapter 6: Fun and glamour through smoking, drinking and drugs – Entertainment media portrayals of substance use

    Chapter 7: Do the media make us fat? Advertising and entertainment portrayals of food, nutrition and exercise

    Chapter 8: Showing us what we should (and cannot) be – The mass media mirror and body image

    Chapter 9: Lust, love and romance with few consequences – Media portrayals of sex

    Chapter 10: The mean and scary media world – The impact of media violence

    Chapter 11: Reporting on health for better or worse – News media effects on knowledge, beliefs and behaviors

    Chapter 12: Peer-to-peer health – The good and bad news about Facebook, Instagram, blogs and other social media

    Section 2: Policy-level effects introduction

    Chapter 13: How health news can affect non-news consumers – News media and health policy

    Chapter 14: Focusing the spotlight on problems upstream – Media advocacy to influence policy

    Chapter 15: Big spenders in the marketplace of ideas – Political issue advertising effects on health policy

    Chapter 16: Media effects on health – What we still need to know


    Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers is a former newspaper health reporter who teaches courses in mass media and health, along with courses in journalism and media ethics, at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. Her research focuses on news coverage of health issues, the effects of health news coverage on individual health and health policy, cancer communication, and individuals’ use of online health information. Her work has been published in Health Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Newspaper Research Journal, Science Communication, Communication Research, Pediatrics, AIDS Education and Prevention, and the Journal of Adolescent Health Care, among others. Her research has been supported by grants from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Defense. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Ireland during the 2004-2005 academic year, studying the impact of news coverage on Irish health policy.

    "Overall, the large number of references makes Mass Media and Health a useful tool for journalists and others writing on the topics it covers. The book's structure and use of statistics also serves media studies or medical communications teachers, who may want to assign it as a textbook." -- Barbara Jungwirth