Media advocacy draws on perspectives from mass communication, political science, public health, and community organizing in order to contribute to social change. It is a tactic to provide visibility, legitimacy, and credibility to issues and is a potentially powerful tool to speak directly to decision makers. The purpose of media advocacy is to promote public health or broader social goals by working through the media to strategically apply pressure for policy change.

It provides a framework for moving public discussion from a primary focus on the health behavior of individuals to the behavior of the policymakers whose decisions structure the environment in which people act. It addresses the power gap rather than just the information gap and focuses on public policy rather than personal behavior. Media advocacy, rather and standing alone, is an approach intended to compliment community organizing and policy development. The "new public health" with its focus on participation, policy development, and political processes, could benefit from incorporating media advocacy.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Media advocacy and the new public health

Lawrence Wallack   University of California

Media advocacy draws on perspectives from mass communication, political science, public health, and community organizing in order to contribute to social change. It is a tactic to provide visibility, legitimacy, and credibility to issues and is a potentially powerful tool to speak directly to decision makers. The purpose of media advocacy is to promote public health or broader social goals by working through the media to strategically apply pressure for policy change.

It provides a framework for moving public discussion from a primary focus on the health behavior of individuals to the behavior of the policymakers whose decisions structure the environment in which people act. It addresses the power gap rather than just the information gap and focuses on public policy rather than personal behavior. Media advocacy, rather and standing alone, is an approach intended to compliment community organizing and policy development. The "new public health" with its focus on participation, policy development, and political processes, could benefit from incorporating media advocacy.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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