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A content analysis of news coverage of skin cancer prevention and detection, 1979-2002
Unformatted Document Text:  Skin cancer news coverage 1 A content analysis of news coverage of skin cancer prevention and detection, 1979-2002 Abstract This study is a content analysis of news coverage about skin cancer, focusing on aspects of primary and secondary prevention. Media coverage was measured using The Associated Press (AP), which is a valid representation of the national news environment. Using a process of successive filtration, every article primarily about skin cancer between September 1979 and September 2002 was identified and coded (N=880). Results revealed that media attention to skin cancer coverage has remained relatively constant since 1990. Reports about skin cancer research received the most media attention of the possible topics, with 35.8% of stories about new research; celebrity experiences with cancer received almost as much media coverage (31.8%), followed by “other topics” (19.3%) and policy (13.1%). Primary and secondary prevention received much less attention than treatment and causes. Specific sun protection practices were mentioned with different frequencies. Self-detection of skin cancer was rarely discussed (5.4%). Strategies for generating increased media attention to skin cancer are discussed.

Authors: Stryker, Jo. and Solky, Benjamin.
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Skin cancer news coverage
1
A content analysis of news coverage of skin cancer prevention and detection, 1979-2002
Abstract
This study is a content analysis of news coverage about skin cancer, focusing on aspects
of primary and secondary prevention. Media coverage was measured using The Associated Press
(AP), which is a valid representation of the national news environment. Using a process of
successive filtration, every article primarily about skin cancer between September 1979 and
September 2002 was identified and coded (N=880). Results revealed that media attention to
skin cancer coverage has remained relatively constant since 1990. Reports about skin cancer
research received the most media attention of the possible topics, with 35.8% of stories about
new research; celebrity experiences with cancer received almost as much media coverage
(31.8%), followed by “other topics” (19.3%) and policy (13.1%). Primary and secondary
prevention received much less attention than treatment and causes. Specific sun protection
practices were mentioned with different frequencies. Self-detection of skin cancer was rarely
discussed (5.4%). Strategies for generating increased media attention to skin cancer are
discussed.


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