Understanding newsworthiness of an emerging pandemic

International newspaper coverage of the H1N1 outbreak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and Objectives: During an evolving public health crisis, news organizations disseminate information rapidly, much of which is uncertain, dynamic, and difficult to verify. We examine factors related to international news coverage of H1N1 during the first month after the outbreak in late April 2009 and consider the news media's role as an information source during an emerging pandemic. Methods: Data on H1N1 news were compiled in real time from newspaper websites across twelve countries between April 29, 2009 and May 28, 2009. A news sample was purposively constructed to capture variation in countries' prior experience with avian influenza outbreaks and pandemic preparation efforts. We analyzed the association between H1N1 news volume and four predictor variables: geographic region, prior experience of a novel flu strain (H5N1), existence of a national pandemic plan, and existence of a localized H1N1 outbreak. Results: H1N1 news was initially extensive but declined rapidly (OR = 0·85, P 

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)847-853
Number of pages7
JournalInfluenza and other Respiratory Viruses
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

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Keywords

  • Agenda setting
  • H1N1
  • International news media
  • Pandemic influenza
  • Preparedness communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

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title = "Understanding newsworthiness of an emerging pandemic: International newspaper coverage of the H1N1 outbreak",
abstract = "Background and Objectives: During an evolving public health crisis, news organizations disseminate information rapidly, much of which is uncertain, dynamic, and difficult to verify. We examine factors related to international news coverage of H1N1 during the first month after the outbreak in late April 2009 and consider the news media's role as an information source during an emerging pandemic. Methods: Data on H1N1 news were compiled in real time from newspaper websites across twelve countries between April 29, 2009 and May 28, 2009. A news sample was purposively constructed to capture variation in countries' prior experience with avian influenza outbreaks and pandemic preparation efforts. We analyzed the association between H1N1 news volume and four predictor variables: geographic region, prior experience of a novel flu strain (H5N1), existence of a national pandemic plan, and existence of a localized H1N1 outbreak. Results: H1N1 news was initially extensive but declined rapidly (OR = 0·85, P ",
keywords = "Agenda setting, H1N1, International news media, Pandemic influenza, Preparedness communication",
author = "Katherine Smith and Rimal, {Rajiv N.} and Helena Sandberg and Storey, {John Douglas} and Lisa Lagasse and Catherine Maulsby and Elizabeth Rhoades and Barnett, {Daniel J} and Omer, {Saad B.} and Links, {Jonathan M}",
year = "2013",
month = "9",
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pages = "847--853",
journal = "Influenza and other Respiratory Viruses",
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publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
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AU - Smith, Katherine

AU - Rimal, Rajiv N.

AU - Sandberg, Helena

AU - Storey, John Douglas

AU - Lagasse, Lisa

AU - Maulsby, Catherine

AU - Rhoades, Elizabeth

AU - Barnett, Daniel J

AU - Omer, Saad B.

AU - Links, Jonathan M

PY - 2013/9

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N2 - Background and Objectives: During an evolving public health crisis, news organizations disseminate information rapidly, much of which is uncertain, dynamic, and difficult to verify. We examine factors related to international news coverage of H1N1 during the first month after the outbreak in late April 2009 and consider the news media's role as an information source during an emerging pandemic. Methods: Data on H1N1 news were compiled in real time from newspaper websites across twelve countries between April 29, 2009 and May 28, 2009. A news sample was purposively constructed to capture variation in countries' prior experience with avian influenza outbreaks and pandemic preparation efforts. We analyzed the association between H1N1 news volume and four predictor variables: geographic region, prior experience of a novel flu strain (H5N1), existence of a national pandemic plan, and existence of a localized H1N1 outbreak. Results: H1N1 news was initially extensive but declined rapidly (OR = 0·85, P 

AB - Background and Objectives: During an evolving public health crisis, news organizations disseminate information rapidly, much of which is uncertain, dynamic, and difficult to verify. We examine factors related to international news coverage of H1N1 during the first month after the outbreak in late April 2009 and consider the news media's role as an information source during an emerging pandemic. Methods: Data on H1N1 news were compiled in real time from newspaper websites across twelve countries between April 29, 2009 and May 28, 2009. A news sample was purposively constructed to capture variation in countries' prior experience with avian influenza outbreaks and pandemic preparation efforts. We analyzed the association between H1N1 news volume and four predictor variables: geographic region, prior experience of a novel flu strain (H5N1), existence of a national pandemic plan, and existence of a localized H1N1 outbreak. Results: H1N1 news was initially extensive but declined rapidly (OR = 0·85, P 

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