Teen pregnancy awareness MEDIA COVERAGE ANALYSIS

Teen pregnancy awareness MEDIA COVERAGE ANALYSIS

Teen pregnancy awareness MEDIA COVERAGE ANALYSIS

The public image of health policy initiatives depends heavily on their portrayal in the news media. Do the media present a fair and balanced portrayal of various health policies? This assignment gives you experience in surveying and analyzing the style and substance of media coverage on your policy topic.

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  1. Choose a specific topic area within your policy category. For example, if your policy category is motor vehicle injuries, you can focus your media analysis on motorcycle helmet policies.  Long term care


  1. Specify a period of coverage. If your topic is hot and current, you may need to narrow your coverage period to one month, such as August 1-31, 2014. If your topic is older and less controversial, you may need to broaden the coverage period to three or six months in order to locate sufficient news reports.


  1. Research traditional and social news outlets for coverage on your topic area, including televised coverage, print media, cable and satellite coverage, social media outlets, social blogs, press releases, issue and policy briefs.

  1. Create a chart using the following as an example.
    1. Your chart must include a minimum of 15 entries.
    2. Rate the tone of the news feature – is it advocating for or against the policy or stating the facts in a neutral way?
    3. Rate the use of substantiated facts and data – is it relying on opinion and individual comments or does it use hard data to make a point?

1 = opinion with little to no data support and 5 = factually and data-oriented


TOPIC AREA:  Sugary Drink Tax Policies

COVERAGE PERIOD: July 1-30, 2014


Outlet & Type Coverage Type Title Date Tone Data Rating
Al Jazeera America 


Cable, satellite and on-line news

On-line article San Francisco to Vote on Sugary Drink Tax in November July 22, 2014 Neutral 5
The Washington Times 


Print and on-line news

Print and on-line editorial The Food Police Try to Arrest Soda, Again July 21, 2014 Negative 2
CBS This Morning 


Television & Radio Network

TV news broadcast Proposed Soda Tax Divides California Residents July 12, 2014 Neutral 2


  1. Create an appropriate graph displaying the percentage of news by type of coverage:
    1. Press Release
    2. Editorial & Opinion Page
    3. Feature Article
    4. Televised
    5. National Public Radio (NPR)
    6. Social Blog
    7. Issue or Policy Brief
    8. Social Media

Grading Tip: if your chart has minimal types of coverage, such as 50% blog and 50% televised, you did not research thoroughly. Ensure that you have a representative set of coverage types in your chart. Teen pregnancy awareness MEDIA COVERAGE ANALYSIS


  1. Create an appropriate graph displaying the percentage of news of tone:
    1. Positive
    2. Neutral
    3. Negative


  1. Reflection Questions (short answer):
    1. What descriptive language (words or phrases) was used in the media to portray the policy in a positive light? Negative light?
    2. Was the media coverage primarily positive, negative or neutral? For what reason do you attribute this type of coverage?
    3. How well did the media use available data and facts-based reporting? Make one suggestion on how data could have been used to explain the issue better.
    4. What is your overall assessment of the media’s performance on their portrayal of your policy topic?
    5. How does mass media play a role in health policy making?


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