Why Media Matters in Healthcare Advocacy and Education

“…Media advocacy in grass roots organizing and activism is an essential strategy to accomplish three main objectives: influence and shape public debate, exert pressure over decision makers, and, most importantly, strengthen and amplify the community’s voice.”

Using mental illness and healthcare as framework, Isabel M. Estrada-Portales argues in this commentary that the onus is on researchers and public health advocates to address the barriers to good reporting on mental health issues by asking questions such as: How and how often do we supply scientific data to reporters? Are we making our research data relevant to reporters when discussing or covering stories that are not, on the surface, about mental health? Are we helping the media connect the dots, place mental health issues in the larger contexts of health and community wellbeing? Such questions will help hone in on a way forward in the context of obstacles such as: disinformation spread across all sides; the complexity of mental health issues and corresponding policy questions; the constraints of the news production cycle; and the audiences’ and media’s lack of scientific literacy.
Read the review.

Published at The Health Communication Network – convening the communication and media development, social and behaviour change community

Multimedia training for public health officers in Mexico City. Credit: PAHO/WHO

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