The Media and Public Health Essay Sample
Health of the population is the most important asset for any nation. A healthy people comprise a healthy and productive nation. A review of the three leading print media in the United States shows that there is considerable print space that is dedicated to inform the public about public health matters. This study reviewed New York Time, which is one of the leading print media in the country. New York Times has dedicated a lot of print space that has been dedicated to highlight matter of public health concern.
New York Times had dedicated a whole a whole section to health. It has a section that highlights different issues in health including recent research, fitness and nutrition, views, and health guide. This section highlights different issues pertaining to public health and most of the time this section highlight recent research and problems affecting the American society. A review of recent publication on this section shows that it has been dedicated to help the society understands public health disease and how they can prevent themselves or management the conditions if they already have them.
The recent stories that have been published in New York Times health section touches on several health issues. Most of the articles published in this section pertain to the six killer diseases which include (New York Times, 2010):
- Heart disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Diabetes (Kolata, 2007)
- Alzheimer disease
This section also focuses on other conditions which have not been identified among the six killer diseases but have received a considerable print space. The other conditions that have been focused on this section include cerebrovascular diseases, unintentional injury, Liver disease and suicide.
At the same time, New York Times has articles that have highlighted several risk factors for the condition mentioned above (Cowan, 2005). Among the highlighted risk factors include:
- Dietary patterns
- Drug abuse
There is a great similarity between the conditions that have been recorded in New York Time and those recorded in the Table 2-4. As has been mentioned above, the print media contains most of the diseases that are considered killer disease and are a matter of great public health debate. Table 2-4 contain majority of the diseases that have been mentioned in the six killer diseases. New York Times also lists all risk factors for the diseases mentioned same as they have been listed on Table 2-4. This indicates that the cross range of risk factors expose the body to several ailments. For example dietary patterns are considered a risk factor for cancer and hearth diseases all which have been listed in both New York Times’ six killer diseases and also in Table 2-4.
There is a connection between the two highlights of killer diseases facing the United States. Both list of disease shows a common trend where certain diseases have been shown to pose more danger to public health than others. The focus has been turned to those diseases which are likely to affect the population but that which can be prevented through mitigation of risk factors.
However, there are some conditions which are emphasized more than others when presentation from New York Times and Table 2-4 are considered. Table 2-4 lists more diseases compared to those that have been highlighted in New York Times. This means that there are some diseases which are likely to receive more media attention than others. New York Times has omitted some conditions like Liver diseases, cerebralvascular disease, and others which are by any means considered a public health scare. New York Times has also emphasized on Alzheimer disease which is not listed under Table 2-4. Therefore, print media had emphasized on some diseases while it has not emphasized on others found in Table 2-4.
Considering the above discussion, it is evident that print media has a role to play in information people about their health. Media is the most important source of information on many issues including health issues. Media helps to keep the public informed of what is happening in different areas including health. Print media, being one of the oldest forms of media and quite effective in passing vital information, are most appropriate to inform the public on their health. Print media is particular important because it can be kept for future reference. Print media can be a good source of information about the killer diseases going by the information presented above. The discrepancies in listing of disease cannot be considered as a major concern because the diseases listed in New York Times are all considered a concern to the public health. Print media is therefore a valuable source of information on these diseases.
Cowan, A. (2005). Rell vetoes Junk-Food limit in Connecticut’s public schools. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/15/nyregion/15junk.html
Kolata, G (2007). Looking past blood sugar to survive diabetes. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/health/20diabetes.html?scp=3&sq=killers%20disease%20in%20United%20States%202008&st=cse
New York Times, (2010). Six Killers. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://health.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/sixkillers/index.html