The Ailing State of Health News Coverage: Is PR the Antidote?


Jeffrey K. Springston, Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad


In the 1980s, health care became an established news topic when diseases such as herpes, and later AIDS became prominent issues. The continued rise in the prominence and importance of health coverage may be attributed to a variety of factors, including the large population of aging baby-boomers who are facing the challenges of staying healthy as they grow older. In spite of the importance of health care news coverage, research in this area has not been extensive. What research has been conducted has almost exclusively focused on large newspapers and/or television network news coverage. Virtually no research exists on health coverage provided by news organizations serving small and underserved communities. The focus of this manuscript is to examine the current state of health news coverage, and then to explore the potential that public relations might play in improving the quality of health news coverage.

Full copyrighted text available here.