The good news about smoking

How do US newspapers cover tobacco issues?

Katherine Smith, Melanie Wakefield, Elizabeth Edsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Media advocacy, or advocacy seeking media attention, can shape the policy environment, but the relationship between the nature of news media coverage of public health topics and policy outcomes has received insufficient research attention. We present the first large-scale study of news coverage of tobacco to focus on the potential impact for policy outcomes. Through our analysis of 9,859 tobacco-focused news articles from 100 leading US daily newspapers between 2001 and 2003 we examined whether tobacco issues are newsworthy, and if so, whether coverage is favorable to policy progress. We found strong evidence for newsworthiness, and a tendency for coverage to highlight policy approaches to tackling tobacco. Coverage emphasized successes rather than setbacks, and newspaper editors lent support to tobacco control positions. There were, however, areas that did not garner sufficient attention to sustain a meaningful policy message. Our analysis of coverage of controversial issues also revealed areas where tobacco control efforts seem to pushing against ideological boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-181
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Newspapers
nicotine
Tobacco
smoking
newspaper
news
Smoking
coverage
policy approach
Public Policy
Health Policy
Public Health
public health
editor
Research
evidence

Keywords

  • Agenda setting
  • Media advocacy
  • News
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

The good news about smoking : How do US newspapers cover tobacco issues? / Smith, Katherine; Wakefield, Melanie; Edsall, Elizabeth.

In: Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2006, p. 166-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, Katherine ; Wakefield, Melanie ; Edsall, Elizabeth. / The good news about smoking : How do US newspapers cover tobacco issues?. In: Journal of Public Health Policy. 2006 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 166-181.
@article{764363ab946544448e679868f6e6aab9,
title = "The good news about smoking: How do US newspapers cover tobacco issues?",
abstract = "Media advocacy, or advocacy seeking media attention, can shape the policy environment, but the relationship between the nature of news media coverage of public health topics and policy outcomes has received insufficient research attention. We present the first large-scale study of news coverage of tobacco to focus on the potential impact for policy outcomes. Through our analysis of 9,859 tobacco-focused news articles from 100 leading US daily newspapers between 2001 and 2003 we examined whether tobacco issues are newsworthy, and if so, whether coverage is favorable to policy progress. We found strong evidence for newsworthiness, and a tendency for coverage to highlight policy approaches to tackling tobacco. Coverage emphasized successes rather than setbacks, and newspaper editors lent support to tobacco control positions. There were, however, areas that did not garner sufficient attention to sustain a meaningful policy message. Our analysis of coverage of controversial issues also revealed areas where tobacco control efforts seem to pushing against ideological boundaries.",
keywords = "Agenda setting, Media advocacy, News, Tobacco",
author = "Katherine Smith and Melanie Wakefield and Elizabeth Edsall",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200079",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "27",
pages = "166--181",
journal = "Journal of Public Health Policy",
issn = "0197-5897",
publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The good news about smoking

T2 - How do US newspapers cover tobacco issues?

AU - Smith, Katherine

AU - Wakefield, Melanie

AU - Edsall, Elizabeth

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - Media advocacy, or advocacy seeking media attention, can shape the policy environment, but the relationship between the nature of news media coverage of public health topics and policy outcomes has received insufficient research attention. We present the first large-scale study of news coverage of tobacco to focus on the potential impact for policy outcomes. Through our analysis of 9,859 tobacco-focused news articles from 100 leading US daily newspapers between 2001 and 2003 we examined whether tobacco issues are newsworthy, and if so, whether coverage is favorable to policy progress. We found strong evidence for newsworthiness, and a tendency for coverage to highlight policy approaches to tackling tobacco. Coverage emphasized successes rather than setbacks, and newspaper editors lent support to tobacco control positions. There were, however, areas that did not garner sufficient attention to sustain a meaningful policy message. Our analysis of coverage of controversial issues also revealed areas where tobacco control efforts seem to pushing against ideological boundaries.

AB - Media advocacy, or advocacy seeking media attention, can shape the policy environment, but the relationship between the nature of news media coverage of public health topics and policy outcomes has received insufficient research attention. We present the first large-scale study of news coverage of tobacco to focus on the potential impact for policy outcomes. Through our analysis of 9,859 tobacco-focused news articles from 100 leading US daily newspapers between 2001 and 2003 we examined whether tobacco issues are newsworthy, and if so, whether coverage is favorable to policy progress. We found strong evidence for newsworthiness, and a tendency for coverage to highlight policy approaches to tackling tobacco. Coverage emphasized successes rather than setbacks, and newspaper editors lent support to tobacco control positions. There were, however, areas that did not garner sufficient attention to sustain a meaningful policy message. Our analysis of coverage of controversial issues also revealed areas where tobacco control efforts seem to pushing against ideological boundaries.

KW - Agenda setting

KW - Media advocacy

KW - News

KW - Tobacco

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33746385853&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33746385853&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200079

DO - 10.1057/palgrave.jphp.3200079

M3 - Article

VL - 27

SP - 166

EP - 181

JO - Journal of Public Health Policy

JF - Journal of Public Health Policy

SN - 0197-5897

IS - 2

ER -