Press coverage of the swine influenza inoculation campaign was generally superficial and marked by a 'body count' mentality, but it was rarely inaccurate or sensational, as has frequently been assumed. A study of coverage in 19 daily newspapers, the three television networks, and a wire service shows that the best work was done by science and medical writers on major metropolitan newspapers. Television newsmen and wire reporters were unprepared for a story of such complexity. A weak press relations effort by the Center for Disease Control and other public health agencies contributed to the public's confusion and upset professionals in the press. A better understanding by doctors of how the press works and closer relations between the medical community and the press can improve coverage of future public health programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine