World Health Media Analysis

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The World Health Organisation (WHO, 1948) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (p.100). WHO (n.d) advances that many factors combine together to affect the health of individuals and communities – where people live, the state of the environment, genetics, income and education levels, and relationships with friends and family. Factors such as access and use of health care services often have less of an impact.
On the other hand, the concept of development has had many definitions over the years. Initially, development was viewed mostly as an economic issue, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. Economists took over development discussions for the most part
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The media are an important tool for development, when used to disseminate information about health and other kinds of development issues. The media play important roles in the political, economic and social fabric of society. There is evidence as well that the media can contribute to fixing health problems worldwide, whether they are personal health issues or policy-related issues. Even when individuals miss out on news stories, the media is still thought to have a greater effect on health policy through the response of policy-makers to health news, who can make provisions for better health services to people who never even saw or read the story (Walsh-Chiders, 1990). Smethurst (2014), states that media and communication contribute to the enhancement of health by increasing knowledge, changing attitudes and customs, raising confidence and action, and enabling and increasing discussion, which can support healthier practices and transparency around health services and…show more content…
Reviewed specifically below are four studies – three of them were interested in the framing of health news while one especially evaluated problems in health reporting in Africa.
The social construction of HIV/AIDS in African media came under investigation by Hughes and Malila (1999). The assertion fueling the research was that despite years of mass media campaigns to change behaviors and attitudes, little proof existed of the success of these campaigns in changing behaviors and attitudes towards the disease. Using framing analysis, the study classified cultural themes used by African media to characterize HIV/AIDS. The researchers found that while reporting on HIV/AIDS, the media assumed too much in terms of the rationality and awareness of their audience with regards understanding what was at stake, expecting them to make healthy behavior choices, based on rational judgments. The recommendation from the study was that the media need to consider the reasoning of target groups, understand their needs and interests in order to provide alterative education to turn knowledge into

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