Purpose: To characterize the presence of advocacy groups in media coverage about tobacco issues. Design: A content analysis of tobacco-related newspaper articles. Setting: Australia. Sample: All 12 national and state capital daily newspapers published in Australia between 2004 and 2007. Measures: We coded each article for explicit mentions of any of 16 major national or state tobacco control advocacy groups; for the article type, prominence, and topic; for the tone of the event; and for the author's opinion. Analysis: A series of 2 × 2 χ 2 analyses assessed the extent to which advocacy groups were more or less likely to be mentioned in articles of each type, prominence, topic, event impact, and opinion orientation. Results: Of the 4387 tobacco-related articles published over this period, 22% mentioned an advocacy group. There was a greater-than-expected proportion of advocacy groups mentioned in news articles with very high prominence (44%; χ 2 [1, N = 3118] = 27.4, p <.001), high prominence (34%; χ 2 [1, N = 3118] = 10.9, p,.001), and medium prominence (30%; χ 2 [1, N = 3118] = 7.3, p =.007), and in articles covering events with mixed (30%; χ 2 [1, N = 4387] = 10.0, p =.002) or positive (24%; χ 2 [1, N = 4387] = 26.1, p <.001) implications for tobacco control. Conclusions: Australian tobacco control advocacy groups have a reasonable presence within the news discourse on tobacco control issues and so are likely to contribute to generating and shaping this discourse, particularly in relation to evolving and controversial issues.
- Prevention research
- Smoking control
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health