This study quantifies the representativeness with which the print news media depict mortality.
The proportion of mortality-related copy in samples of national print media was compared with the proportion of actual deaths attributable to the leading causes of US mortality over a 1-year period.
For every tested cause of death, a significant disproportion was found between amount of text devoted to the cause and the actual number of attributable deaths.
Under-represented causes included tobacco use (23% of expected copy) and heart disease (33%) ; overrepresented causes included illicit use of drugs (1740%), motor vehicles (1280%), and toxic agents (1070%). Conclusions.
The news media significantly misrepresent the prevalence of leading causes of death and their risk factors.
This misrepresentation may contribute to the public's distorted perceptions of health threats.
Mots-clés Pascal : Mortalité, Etiologie, Facteur risque, Perception sociale, Connaissance, Média, Information biomédicale, Evaluation, Homme, Etats Unis, Amérique du Nord, Amérique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Mortality, Etiology, Risk factor, Social perception, Knowledge, Media, Biomedical information, Evaluation, Human, United States, North America, America
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0364110
Code Inist : 002A26Q06. Création : 12/09/1997.