The Collaborative on Media & Messaging for Health and Social Policy team gathered for a full team retreat in August, hosted at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The Covid-19 pandemic posed a particularly difficult challenge for public health communicators because the information environment was rife with partisan cues and messaging that often contradicted or challenged the authority of scientific experts. The media played an ambiguous role in this regard: On the one hand, it served as a conduit for scientific advice to the public, on the other, it had the potential to disseminate and amplify misinformation.
News About Food Assistance During the COVID Pandemic Decreased Stigma but Overlooked Racial Inequities, Study Finds
Our COMM team had the opportunity to collaborate with the Berkeley Media Studies Group on an analysis of print and TV broadcast news stories about hunger and food assistance aired in 2021. This blog post was originally published on the BMSG website and examines how equity appeared in news about food assistance from 2021.
In April, President Biden signed an executive order that directed federal agencies to seek solutions to the persistent problems of early care and education (ECE) access and lack of affordability. (ECE encompasses the settings where young children receive care from someone other than a family member or their primary caregiver.)
On May 11, the national Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration by the federal government will end. While this event has major public health implications, broader media and public attention to the event has been limited, likely because at least half of Americans earlier this spring reported that they believed that the pandemic was already over.
The News About Hunger Revealed Increased Support for Government Assistance During COVID. Will It Stay That Way?
Our COMM team had the opportunity to collaborate with the Berkeley Media Studies Group on an analysis of print and TV broadcast news stories about hunger and food assistance aired in 2021. This blog post was originally published on the BMSG website and offers reflections about the implications of the findings for advocates at the end of the COVID public health emergency.
In a review of more than three decades’ worth of studies that examine support for, or opposition to, policies with racial equity implications, a Cornell-led research group found that more research on messaging that includes the voices of historically marginalized people is necessary in the push toward equity.
2022 Campaign Advertising Highlights: What Was and Wasn’t Featured in Issue Discussion on Television
And its implications for policy to promote population health
Campaign advertising – on television, online, through social media platforms, and even at the gas pump – remains a centrally important method through which candidates for office (and the groups that support them) convey to voters their policy accomplishments and priorities and those of their opponents.
2022 Campaign Advertising Highlights: Understanding Themes in Limited Messaging on Climate Change and Critical Race Theory
By Steven Moore
Democrats and Republicans do not agree on much when it comes to politics. However, there does seem to be agreement from members of both parties that the country is on the wrong track, with a slim and broad majority of Democrats and Republicans, respectively, endorsing this idea.
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.
COVID-19 PSAs on TV in 2020 were Associated with the Political Orientation of Communities in which they Aired
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.
2022 Campaign Advertising Highlights: References to Abortion in Ads Reveals Anti-Government Messaging on Both Sides
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
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.
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.
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 (https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-022-09372-5). 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.