Health communication encompasses the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health. Mass media have great power to affect the pubic agenda and are quite necessary elements of efforts to improve personal and public health.

However, in the highly commercialized media environment, press likes nothing but a man-bites-dog story, which by definition is "news." What take places everyday is not good news, reversely, what happened infrequently or even never existed is good news, which can catch eyeball and can stimulate the newspaper circulation or improve. Television/radio audience rating. The public health events are too common to arrest the eye of the journalists and editors.

Actually, in China, about 120 million people are Hepatitis B virus carriers, and about 30 million people have been infected by Hepatitis B virus. However, such a great many people are ignored by mass media. Compared with the great amount of reporting on SARS subject, the amount of reporting on Hepatitis B is so little.

Hepatitis B as a disease with it carriers could exert a long-term and extensive impact on the society. And also because of its long-term and extensive impact, the disease doesn’t have any element to make a man-bites-dog story. The paper has built a Hepatitis B reporting database, the articles were selected from mainstream newspapers in China and America, from 2000 to 2004. Through analyzing articles by using key words, scientific words, news sources, content, story frame, editions they belong to, we want to reach the conclusion that how media comprehend the disease, what kind of strategies the press use to communicate the important information of public health.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

A comparative study of hepatitis b reporting by Chinese and US media

Fei Zhao   Tsinghua University, PR China

Xiguang Li   Tsinghua University, PR China

Health communication encompasses the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health. Mass media have great power to affect the pubic agenda and are quite necessary elements of efforts to improve personal and public health.

However, in the highly commercialized media environment, press likes nothing but a man-bites-dog story, which by definition is "news." What take places everyday is not good news, reversely, what happened infrequently or even never existed is good news, which can catch eyeball and can stimulate the newspaper circulation or improve. Television/radio audience rating. The public health events are too common to arrest the eye of the journalists and editors.

Actually, in China, about 120 million people are Hepatitis B virus carriers, and about 30 million people have been infected by Hepatitis B virus. However, such a great many people are ignored by mass media. Compared with the great amount of reporting on SARS subject, the amount of reporting on Hepatitis B is so little.

Hepatitis B as a disease with it carriers could exert a long-term and extensive impact on the society. And also because of its long-term and extensive impact, the disease doesn’t have any element to make a man-bites-dog story. The paper has built a Hepatitis B reporting database, the articles were selected from mainstream newspapers in China and America, from 2000 to 2004. Through analyzing articles by using key words, scientific words, news sources, content, story frame, editions they belong to, we want to reach the conclusion that how media comprehend the disease, what kind of strategies the press use to communicate the important information of public health.

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