The Power of the Media in Health Communication  book cover
1st Edition

The Power of the Media in Health Communication

ISBN 9781472471536
Published April 28, 2016 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

Health is a contested concept that has been defined in numerous ways. The media is extremely powerful in promoting health beliefs and in creating role models for contemporary people. The ways in which health is defined or understood can have wide-ranging implications and can have an impact on issues such as health promotion or health literacy. Health presentation in the media has a significant social impact because this type of message is important in changing people's beliefs, attitudes and behaviours relating to health and in promoting health-related knowledge among the target audience. The present volume provides an interdisciplinary and multicultural contemporary approach to the controversial link between medicine and media. The authors that have contributed to this volume analyse the media and medicine from different perspectives and different countries (USA, UK, Portugal, Turkey, Taiwan, Mexico, Estonia, Romania), thus offering a re-positioning of the study of media and medicine. The new perspectives offered by this volume will be of interest to any health communication or media studies student or academic since they bring to light new ideas, new methodologies and new results.

Table of Contents

Part I: Representations of Health and Illness in Mass Media

1. Depressing news: Obesity panic, reflexive embodiment and teen mental health in the USA

2. Media Coverage of the Ebola Virus Disease: A content analytical study of The Guardian and Daily Trust newspapers

3. Media representations of anorexia: Between medical discourse and show biz

4. From Germs to Ghosts: The politics of naming an epidemic

Part 2: Mediations of Doctor-patient Communication

5. Patients’ interpretations of CAM-related information: Manoeuvring between patient and consumer positionings

6. ‘Alone with my illness’: Stories about chronic disease in Romania

Part 3: Journalists Discourses About Health

7. Health journalism practices in Portuguese newsrooms: An assessment of journalists’ perceptions

8. What the media and health professions think about the health content of the media

Part 4: Internet and Health

9. Health in the digital era: Searching health information online

10. The web in healthcare: A new psychologist? Trends of search over the web in depression syndrome

11. Teenagers, risk behaviours and the use of new technologies for health

Conclusion: Media and health: Where do we go from here?


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Valentina Marinescu, University of Bucharest, Romania and Bianca Mitu, University of Huddersfield, UK.


’This inspiring collection of essays illustrates the complex, multifaceted relationships between mediated communication and health. The volume is a fine showcase of the different methodologies, disciplines and issues in this fascinating and ever expanding field of research.’ Daniel Biltereyst, Ghent University, Belgium ’Is mass communication responsible for the production of socially accepted images of health and disease, of nutrition practices and the body, of a good life? This lively collection brings a cultural approach to understanding the role of media in the field of health. The book is an invitation to the critical assessment of communication strategies influencing behavioural models.’ Valentina Gueorguieva, Sofia University, Bulgaria ’In an increasingly global and fragmented world, mass media are essential to the social construction of public health problems. This thoughtful book edited by Valentina Marinescu and Bianca Mitu provides research evidence and experts’ perspectives about this decisive role of mass media in defining reality, proposing possible solutions and even being an imperative communication tool for patients and health professionals.’ Carmen Vives-Cases, Alicante University, Spain ’The complexity and dynamism of interrelationships between the use of media, promotion of health and marketing actions requires not only the study of these narrow areas but also an interdisciplinary approach by which certain general tendencies can be noticed. This is an interdisciplinary study which enlists the cooperation of a range of researchers from different parts of the world and disciplines, and analyses various aspects of the use of media in health communication.’ Maria Marczewska-Rytko, Maria Curie-SkÅ‚odowska University, Poland