Children playing in the sun

2022 Campaign Advertising Highlights: Child Tax Credit References Largely Absent in Ads

November 8, 2022

By Erika Franklin Fowler, Natália de Paula Moreira, and Jielu Yao

As the 2022 midterm elections race to their conclusion on Tuesday, there has been a lot of discussion about the content and issue focus of the ads flooding the airwaves, with abortion topping the list for Democrats while Republican messaging has closed with an emphasis on government spending, inflation, and economic concerns about cost of living.

Man holding vintage TV with COVID-19 text label

COVID-19 PSAs on TV in 2020 were Associated with the Political Orientation of Communities in which they Aired

October 11, 2022

Since early in the pandemic, Republicans and Democrats have exhibited different attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward the COVID-19 pandemic. These beliefs have even translated into divergent mortality, with a study released last week showing that after vaccinations became widely available, Republicans had higher death rates than Democrats.

Frame from KS abortion ad

2022 Campaign Advertising Highlights: References to Abortion in Ads Reveals Anti-Government Messaging on Both Sides

October 5, 2022
Such a strategy has broader implications for public health

In the wake of the Dobbs Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade abortion rights, messaging in political campaign ads for the 2022 midterm elections has featured abortion prominently, especially in pro-Democratic messaging.


Federally-affiliated public service announcements (PSAs) during the early period of the COVID-19 pandemic

September 12, 2022

Our team, led by Margaret Tait, recently published the results of a study exploring public service announcements (PSAs) sponsored by the federal government and airing on TV during the early months of the pandemic, from March through December of 2020. The study is available open access in Preventive Medicine Reports

Image of collaborative messaging

Rapid response media research will promote equity

August 4, 2022

By Jim Hanchett, Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy

Citing the urgent need for more effective and equitable health communication, three universities are collaborating on a unique research endeavor that will quickly identify developing public health issues, address conflicting messages and counter misinformation, funded with a newly announced $5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Seamless pattern with people in protective masks. Protest during the pandemic, protests, African Americans and white people against racism. stock illustration

Local TV news coverage of racial disparities in COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic

July 27, 2022

Our team recently published the results of a study exploring local TV news coverage of racial disparities in COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic in Race and Social Problems ( This study examined how local TV news stories attributed causes and solutions for COVID-19-related racial health and social disparities, and whether coverage of such disparities changed after George Floyd’s murder.

COMM Team Leads Web Convenings to Connect Research to Journalists and Practitioners, Identify New Research Priorities

January 25, 2022

On December 2 and December 10, 2021, our team convened audiences of journalists, communication professionals, researchers and advocates to learn about and discuss research findings. On December 2, the team led a discussion on Storytelling and the Social Safety Net, while the session on December 10 focused on Communicating about Race, Class, and Health Equity.

Cumulative Exposure to Political Campaign Ads about Crime Increases Crime Worry among Republicans

September 10, 2021

In a recently published study in The International Journal of Press/Politics, our team of researchers, led by Jiawei Liu, examined the content of political campaign ads about crime during the 2016 U.S. election cycle, and the consequences of cumulative exposure to political campaign ads about crime on crime worry.

Narrative Approach Can Change Minds on Child Care Spending

September 7, 2021

By Tom Fleischman

How do you capture hearts and minds when it comes to increasing public support for policies and programs related to early childhood education?

According to new multi-institution research led by Jeff Niederdeppe, professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, that all depends on whose hearts and minds are in the audience.

New Study on Paid Family Leave on Local Television News in the U.S.

June 28, 2021

Our team, led by Margaret Tait, recently published the results of a study exploring local television news coverage related to paid family leave policy in SSM-Population Health. A team of trained coders conducted a content analysis of relevant local news stories airing in 2018 and 2019 on the four major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX) in all 210 media markets in the U.S.

Synthesizing Knowledge and Gaps in Research to Inform Communication Strategies in Building a Culture of Health

March 21, 2021

On January 15, 2020, the COMM HSP team convened an invitation-only research workshop called “Synthesizing Knowledge and Gaps in Research to Inform Communication Strategies in Building a Culture of Health”, held at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. 

📢The @commhsp team at @PublicHealthUMN @UMN_HSJMC is hiring a postdoctoral associate to conduct collaborative research at the intersection of communication, health equity, and policy with @sarahgollust & @RebekahNagler. Applications due 1/15.

Want something to read while you wait out #ElectionDay? In a new post, the @commhsp team analyzes the near-absence of messages about the child tax credit in midterm election ads.

Tomorrow, join BMSG and @HousingNowCA 10-11 AM PST to learn how journalists can frame housing and homelessness to shape narratives and influence change. Register here:

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Our core team includes researchers at three institutions: Cornell University, Wesleyan University, and the University of Minnesota.

Support for this website was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the foundation.


Communication research to build healthy and equitable communities.
© 2021 Collaborative on Media & Messaging for Health and Social Policy