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Australian Letters to the Editor on Tobacco: Triggers, Rhetoric, and Claims of Legitimate Voice


Clegg Smith, K and McLeod, K and Wakefield, M, Australian Letters to the Editor on Tobacco: Triggers, Rhetoric, and Claims of Legitimate Voice, Qualitative Health Research, 15, (9) pp. 1180-1198. ISSN 1049-7323 (2005) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2005 Sage

DOI: doi:10.1177/1049732305279145


News coverage of tobacco issues influences both individual behavior change and policy progression. Thus, media advocacy is increasingly recognized as important for promoting public health. Letters to the editor (LTE) are a basic form of media advocacy, serving to demonstrate community sentiment on a given issue. Such letters are yet to receive systematic analytic consideration. The authors conducted an ethnographic content analysis of LTE on tobacco issues from a sample of 11 Australian daily newspapers over a 3-year period (2001 to 2003, N = 361). They argue that letters are artifacts of active engagement in a public debate and note that various stakeholders adopt similar strategies to pursue their objectives. They illustrate how identifying personal and collective identities is crucial in the assertion of legitimacy of voice in LTEs. Better understanding is needed of both the particular issues that spark public engagement, and the salient rhetoric employed by advocates of disparate positions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:tobacco; textual analysis; letters to the editor
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology and social studies of science and technology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McLeod, K (Dr Kim McLeod)
ID Code:88673
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2014-02-12
Last Modified:2014-05-02

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