What color is today’s newspaper journalism: red or pink?
Dunlop, Colin Derek
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Breast cancer and heart disease are two topics at the forefront of women’s health. Competing interests have helped to skew perceptions that breast cancer is a greater threat to women than heart disease, despite scientific studies showing the opposite. Newspapers have reported on each topic, which has led some to assert that mass media are to blame for the misperceptions. This study samples one year of newspaper coverage of both diseases and using content analysis shows how journalists report on each disease. The theories of framing, agenda setting, risk perceptions and the health belief model are used in the theoretical background. Results show breast cancer was reported on more often than heart disease, and writers were more likely to use personal testimony when reporting on breast cancer. Limitations and future research are also discussed.