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Health News and Responsibility

How Frames Create Blame

Series:

Lesa Hatley Major and Stacie Meihaus Jankowski

Who the public blames for health problems determines who the public believes is responsible for solving those health problems. Health policies targeting the broader public are the most effective way to improve health. The research approach described in this book will increase public support for critical health policies. The authors systematically organized and analyzed 25 years of thematic and episodic framing research in health news to create an approach to reframe responsibility in health news in order to gain public support for health policies. They apply their method to two of the top health issues in world—obesity and mental health—and conclude by discussing future research and plans for working with other health scholars, health practitioners, and journalists.

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Acknowledgments

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The research presented in this book could not have been conducted without the support and assistance of key individuals and institutions. Christian Potter and Kim Baker provided invaluable help developing the coding categories used to analyze the content in the academic journal articles on thematic and episodic frames in news. As a research assistant, Christian was instrumental during the content analysis phase of this project. We are indebted to him for all of his thorough and thoughtful work.

Financial support for two of the experiments presented in this text was provided by Indiana University, Bloomington, through the Faculty Research Support Program. We would like to thank Dr. Lee Becker and are honored to be included in his series—Mass Communication and Journalism with Peter Lang Publishing. Also, we want to thank our editor, Dr. Erika Hendrix and everyone at Peter Lang Publishing for all of their support during this entire process.

Lesa would also like to acknowledge the following: Working with Stacie on this project was one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my career. I truly mean it when I say this work would not have been possible without her. Her insight not only added to the intellectual integrity of our research but provided the depth that could lead to real changes in how journalists and researchers do their jobs.

Professor Amy Reynolds provided much needed advice when I decided to write this book. I value her honesty, humor and...

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