Information and Public Health

People rely on credible information about public health from news outlets, however little is known about how news organizations interpret overseas pandemics for their local communities. In this set of papers, Juve J. Cortes, Felipe Blanco and I argue that newspapers can set the agenda for preventive health behavior by localizing the risk of epidemics for their local audiences.

We find that after a sluggish start, the frequency of coverage was broadly responsive to the total number of cases, but the newspaper coverage did not promote proactive public health responses, meaning it was unlikely to encourage preventive behavior. These results have important implications for information campaigns about pandemics, illustrating the need for effective risk communication to encourage preventive health behavior.

Works in Progress:

  • (with Juve J. Cortés). "Our Issue or Their Issue? Coverage and Framing of the Zika Virus Pandemic." 

  • (with Juve J. Cortés and Felipe Blanco). "Spreading the News: Threat Perception and News Coverage of Zika in the US." 

© 2015-2020 by Thomas Jamieson.