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Talking health: patient empowerment or triumph of the expert?: analysis of health news in women's magazines

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Organization
Abstract
News on health-related issues is gaining importance in the contemporary traditional news media (Dunwoody, 2008; Peters, 2008; Trench, 2008; Picard & Yeo, 2011; Secko, Amend & Friday, 2013). Research indicates that the gates for selection, presentation and framing of health related news are to a large extent influenced by elitist sources as stakeholders from the pharmaceutical sector and researchers of academic and as well commercial research institutions. News content on health-related issues often uses a medicalization perspective as many scholars demonstrate (Conrad & Potter, 2000; Conrad & Leiter, 2004; Conrad, 2007; Devisch, 2013; Goldacre, 2013). In this research paper we confront the traditional elitist newsroom sourcing practices with the broad range of actors of civil society that through digitization act as new bottom-up sources. Our central question therefore is to detect whether journalistic sourcing practices in the digital media landscape of today are to be linked with strategies of empowerment of non-institutional stakeholders as patients and patient organizations. In our study, we research the content of health-related issues in popular journals and women’s magazines. We examined content in its broadest sense, thus not only including news content but also advertisements and advertorials. We make an assessment of the influence of the different stakeholders in health issues, including the actors in the commercial pharmaceutical industry, on the policy level, on the academic level, but also actors on the public’s perspective (patient and patient organizations). Our content analysis includes 1422 features (commercial as well as journalistic) in more than 20 magazines. The analysis not only gives an overview of different sorts of health news that is prominent but also provides insight in sourcing practices relating to health news. The analysis also gives a first insight in a more fundamental content approach confronting prominence of the medicalization frame with the frame of individual responsibility.
Keywords
health framing, medicalization, sourcing, magazines, content analysis, health journalism

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Chicago
De Dobbelaer, Rebeca, and Karin Raeymaeckers. 2014. “Talking Health: Patient Empowerment or Triumph of the Expert?: Analysis of Health News in Women’s Magazines.” In Health Journalism, 2nd International Conference, Abstracts.
APA
De Dobbelaer, R., & Raeymaeckers, K. (2014). Talking health: patient empowerment or triumph of the expert?: analysis of health news in women’s magazines. Health Journalism, 2nd International conference, Abstracts. Presented at the 2nd International conference on Health Journalism.
Vancouver
1.
De Dobbelaer R, Raeymaeckers K. Talking health: patient empowerment or triumph of the expert?: analysis of health news in women’s magazines. Health Journalism, 2nd International conference, Abstracts. 2014.
MLA
De Dobbelaer, Rebeca, and Karin Raeymaeckers. “Talking Health: Patient Empowerment or Triumph of the Expert?: Analysis of Health News in Women’s Magazines.” Health Journalism, 2nd International Conference, Abstracts. 2014. Print.
@inproceedings{4390446,
  abstract     = {News on health-related issues is gaining importance in the contemporary traditional news media (Dunwoody, 2008; Peters, 2008; Trench, 2008; Picard \& Yeo, 2011; Secko, Amend \& Friday, 2013). Research indicates that the gates for selection, presentation and framing of health related news are to a large extent influenced by elitist sources as stakeholders from the  pharmaceutical sector and researchers of academic and as well commercial research institutions. News content on health-related issues often uses a medicalization perspective as many scholars demonstrate (Conrad \& Potter, 2000; Conrad \& Leiter, 2004; Conrad, 2007; Devisch, 2013; Goldacre, 2013). In this research paper we confront the traditional elitist newsroom sourcing practices with the broad range of actors of civil society that through digitization act as new bottom-up sources. Our central question therefore is to detect whether journalistic sourcing practices in the digital media landscape of today are to be linked with strategies of  empowerment of non-institutional stakeholders as patients and patient organizations. In our study, we research the content of health-related issues in popular journals and women{\textquoteright}s magazines. We examined content in its broadest sense, thus not only including news content but also advertisements and advertorials. We make an assessment of the influence of the different stakeholders in health issues, including the actors in the commercial pharmaceutical industry, on the policy level, on the academic level, but also actors on the public{\textquoteright}s perspective (patient and patient organizations). Our content analysis includes 1422 features (commercial as well as journalistic) in more than 20 magazines. The analysis not only gives an overview of different sorts of health news that is prominent but also provides insight in sourcing practices relating to health news. The analysis also gives a first insight in a more fundamental content approach confronting prominence of the medicalization frame with the frame of individual responsibility.},
  author       = {De Dobbelaer, Rebeca and Raeymaeckers, Karin},
  booktitle    = {Health Journalism, 2nd International conference, Abstracts},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Coventry, UK},
  title        = {Talking health: patient empowerment or triumph of the expert?: analysis of health news in women's magazines},
  year         = {2014},
}