Our researchers produce a range of materials, including papers and briefs, presentations, datasets and survey tools.  For additional resources, select the Research tab above.

The Good News About Smoking: How Do US Newspapers Cover Tobacco Issues?

Clegg Smith K, Wakefield M and Edsall E. Journal of Public Health Policy, 27: 166-181, 2006.

Media advocacy, or advocacy seeking media attention, can shape the policy environment, but the relationship between the nature of news media coverage of public health topics and policy outcomes has received insufficient research attention. We present the first large-scale study of news coverage of tobacco to focus on the potential impact for policy outcomes. Through our analysis of 9,859 tobacco focused news articles from 100 leading US daily newspapers between 2001 and 2003 we examined whether tobacco issues are newsworthy, and if so, whether coverage is favorable to policy progress. We found strong evidence for newsworthiness, and a tendency for coverage to highlight policy approaches to tackling tobacco. Coverage emphasized successes rather than setbacks, and newspaper editors lent support to tobacco control positions. There were, however, areas that did not garner sufficient attention to sustain a meaningful policy message. Our analysis of coverage of controversial issues also revealed areas where tobacco control efforts seem to pushing against ideological boundaries.

Sign Up to Receive News and Updates

Join our mailing list for updates, news and announcements about recent publications and new research. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Join the Email List