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Changes in coverage of sun protection in the news: threats and opportunities from emerging issues


Scully, M and Makin, JK and Maloney, S and Wakefield, M, Changes in coverage of sun protection in the news: threats and opportunities from emerging issues, Health Education Research: Theory and Practice, 29, (3) pp. 378-87. ISSN 0268-1153 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 The Author.

DOI: doi:10.1093/her/cyu013


This study aimed to determine whether there have been shifts in news coverage of sun protection issues over a 12-year period in the context of an evolving skin cancer prevention agenda. A content analysis was performed on all relevant articles (N = 552) published in the two metropolitan daily newspapers in Melbourne, Australia, from 2001 to 2012. Coding variables included theme, article type, prominence, spokesperson and topic slant. Articles were collapsed into three 4-year blocks and a series of chi-square analyses conducted to examine changes over time in coverage of topical issues (i.e. vitamin D and sunbeds) and established sun protection themes [i.e. health effects of ultraviolet (UV) exposure, education/prevention, attitudes/behaviour]. Coverage of vitamin D and sunbed issues increased over time and became more positive for sun protection objectives. The proportion of articles reporting on established sun protection themes remained steady over time (range: 36-38%) and there were no changes observed in the way these topics were presented in the news media. These results highlight that potentially competing sun protection issues that emerge over time need not pose a threat to existing skin cancer prevention programmes but instead can provide opportunities to further spread programme messages while increasing credibility.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Skin cancer, sunbathing, sunburn, suncreens, vitamin D, Victoria
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Makin, JK (Ms Jen Makin)
ID Code:103563
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-10-16
Last Modified:2017-11-04

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