Berkeley Media Studies Group

Berkeley, CA, United States

Berkeley Media Studies Group

Berkeley, CA, United States
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Palmedo P.C.,City University of New York | Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Garza S.,City University of New York | Murphy E.,City University of New York | Freudenberg N.,City University of New York
Annual Review of Public Health | Year: 2017

Countermarketing campaigns use health communications to reduce the demand for unhealthy products by exposing motives and undermining marketing practices of producers. These campaigns can contribute to the prevention of noncommunicable diseases by denormalizing the marketing of tobacco, alcohol, and unhealthy food. By portraying these activities as outside the boundaries of civilized corporate behavior, countermarketing can reduce the demand for unhealthy products and lead to changes in industry marketing practices. Countermarketing blends consumer protection, media advocacy, and health education with the demand for corporate accountability. Countermarketing campaigns have been demonstrated to be an effective component of comprehensive tobacco control. This review describes common elements of tobacco countermarketing such as describing adverse health consequences, appealing to negative emotions, highlighting industry manipulation of consumers, and engaging users in the design or implementation of campaigns. It then assesses the potential for using these elements to reduce consumption of alcohol and unhealthy foods. Copyright ©2017 Annual Reviews.

Gonzalez P.A.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Minkler M.,University of California at Berkeley | Garcia A.P.,University of California at Berkeley | Gordon M.,West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

We conducted a multimethod case study analysis of a community-based participatory research partnership in West Oakland, California, and its efforts to study and address the neighborhood's disproportionate exposure to diesel air pollution. We employed 10 interviews with partners and policymakers, participant observation, and a review of documents. Results of the partnership's truck count and truck idling studies suggested substantial exposure to diesel pollution and were used by the partners and their allies to make the case for a truck route ordinance. Despite weak enforcement, the partnership's increased political visibility helped change the policy environment, with the community partner now heavily engaged in environmental decision-making on the local and regional levels. Finally, we discussed implications for research, policy, and practice.

News Article | November 3, 2016

Kim Krisberg and I were in Denver this week at APHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Exposition — the year’s largest gathering of public health professionals. In our blog posts from earlier this week (here, here, here) we recapped just a few of the scientific sessions and events from the week. Below are some highlights from the final day at the meeting. You can read many more courtesy of the APHA Annual Meeting Blog. Public health in the headlines: How does news coverage impact health?: Media. It’s everywhere these days. So, it’s not surprising that it impacts our health and behaviors as well as our perception of serious public health problems. Such influence was the topic of a Wednesday morning Annual Meeting session on “Media News Coverage of Health and Risk,” which began with a deeper look at how the media covers community violence and safety. Presenter Laura Nixon, of the Berkeley Media Studies Group, studied news coverage of community violence in California from 2013 to 2015. She found that the kinds of community violence solutions represented in the media evolved over the years. For example, in 2013, policing was most commonly reported as a solution. But in 2014 and 2015, community prevention programs became the top solution cited in media coverage. Continue reading For a LARC: It’s no joke — better training expands contraception access: Long-acting reversible contraceptives — intrauterine devices and birth control implants — are the most effective methods to prevent pregnancy. But too many people who want to choose LARC as their form of birth control are unable to get it in a timely manner because community health clinic staff is untrained or unprepared to perform an insertion. But that doesn’t have to be the case. At a Wednesday morning session on “Expanding LARC Access and Training the Community Health Workforce,” reproductive health experts shared their tools for success in preparing community health clinic staff to stock, educate about and insert IUDs and implants. Continue reading Farmers markets, community gardens improve health. And not just for rich people: Farmers markets are great for our health, especially our nutrition. But there’s one big problem. “Unfortunately, the people that shop at farmers markets are usually white, middle-to-high income, highly educated and female,” said Jennifer Casey, executive director of the Fondy Food Center in Wisconsin, at an Annual Meeting session on “Community Gardens and Food Systems to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.” “And that’s missing a huge segment of our population.” In both Wisconsin and Wyoming, researchers have taken giant steps to increase access to healthy food systems like farmers markets and community gardens. For example, Casey and researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin collaborated on a two-year program to improve access to healthy food for diverse populations — especially people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Continue reading Taking on obesity one soda at a time: Because problems like overweight and obesity don’t respect county borders, public health agencies are finding more ways to work together.  An example: the Denver area Metro Healthy Beverage Partnership that’s already had success in raising awareness about sugary beverage consumption and is helping local communities change their unhealthy ways. The partnership formed in 2013 after six health departments (which cover seven Denver area counties and more than half the population of Colorado) decided to zero in on obesity and the risk factor of sugary beverage consumption as a priority. “I must say, I thought, writing a grant across six health departments, that’s going to be like herding cats,” said John Douglas, director of the Tri-County Health Department. But focusing on a common goal has proven easier than he expected, he told Annual Meeting attendees during a Wednesday session “A Collective Impact Approach to Reducing Sugary Beverage Consumption in Denver Metro.” Continue reading Children who witness violence or are sexually abused are 3 and 5 times more likely to inject drugs as adults: Children who are sexually abused are nearly five times more likely to inject drugs in adulthood as those who are not — while children who witness violence are about three times more likely — according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo in Denver. Researchers from NYU School of Medicine and The Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research used a nationally representative sample of more than 12,000 Americans to explore associations between nine childhood traumas and adult drug use. Additionally: the association between sexual abuse during childhood and injection drug use was more than seven times as strong for males as females. Continue reading Catch up on all the news from the APHA Annual Meeting here.

Nixon L.,Public Health Institute | Nixon L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Mejia P.,Public Health Institute | Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2015

Zoning and other land-use policies are a promising but controversial strategy to improve community food environments. To understand how these policies are debated, we searched existing databases and the Internet and analyzed news coverage and legal documentation of efforts to restrict fast-food restaurants in 77 US communities in 2001 to 2013. Policies intended to improve community health were most often proposed in urban, racially diverse communities; policies proposed in small towns or majority-White communities aimed to protect community aesthetics or local businesses. Health-focused policies were subject to more criticism than other policies and were generally less successful. Our findings could inform the work of advocates interested in employing land-use policies to improve the food environment in their own communities.

Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Dorfman L.,Public Health Institute | Krasnow I.D.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Krasnow I.D.,Public Health Institute
Annual Review of Public Health | Year: 2014

Media advocacy blends communications, science, politics, and advocacy to advance public health goals. In this article, we explain how media advocacy supports the social justice grounding of public health while addressing public health's "wicked problems" in the context of American politics. We outline media advocacy's theoretical foundations in agenda setting and framing and describe its practical application, from the layers of strategy to storytelling, which can illuminate public health solutions for journalists, policy makers, and the general public. Finally, we describe the challenges in evaluating media advocacy campaigns. ©2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Mejia P.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Cheyne A.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse | Year: 2012

News media coverage of child sexual abuse can help policymakers and the public understand what must be done to prevent future abuse, but coverage tends to focus on extreme cases. This article presents an analysis of newspaper coverage from 2007 to 2009 to describe how the daily news presents and frames day-to-day stories about child sexual abuse. When child sexual abuse receives news attention, the stories focus primarily on the criminal justice details of a specific incident rather than contextual information about causes of and solutions to child sexual abuse, and prevention is rarely addressed. We offer suggestions for strategies that advocates can use to help reporters improve news coverage so that it better contextualizes child sexual abuse and links it to prevention policies. © 2012 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Nixon L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Mejia P.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Cheyne A.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group
Critical Public Health | Year: 2015

In 2012 and 2013, Richmond and El Monte, CA, and Telluride, CO, became the first communities in the country to vote on citywide sugary drink taxes. In the face of massive spending from the soda industry, all three proposals failed at the ballot box, but the vigorous public debates they inspired provide valuable insights for future policy efforts. We analyzed local and national news coverage of the three proposals and found that pro-tax arguments appeared most frequently in the news. Advocates for the taxes focused primarily on the potential community health benefits the taxes could produce and the health harms caused by sodas. Tax opponents capitalized on the existing political tensions in each community, including racial and ethnic divisions in Richmond, anti-government attitudes in El Monte, and a culture of individualism in Telluride. Pro-tax arguments came mainly from city officials and public health advocates, while anti-tax forces recruited a wide range of people to speak against the tax. The soda industry itself was conspicuously absent from news coverage. Instead, in each community, the industry funded anti-tax coalition groups, whose affiliation with industry was often not acknowledged in the news. Our analysis of this coverage exposes how soda tax opponents used strategies established by the tobacco industry to fight regulation. Despite these defeats, tax advocates can take inspiration from more mature public health campaigns, which indicate that such policies may take many years to gain traction. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Montgomery K.C.,American University of Washington | Chester J.,Digital Democracy | Grier S.A.,American University of Washington | Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group
Pediatric Clinics of North America | Year: 2012

Because of their avid use of new media and their increased spending power, children and teens have become primary targets of a new " media and marketing ecosystem." The digital marketplace is undergoing rapid innovation as new technologies and software applications continue to reshape the media landscape and user behaviors. The advertising industry, in many instances led by food and beverage marketers, is purposefully exploiting the special relationship that youth have with new media, as online marketing campaigns create unprecedented intimacies between adolescents and the brands and products that now literally surround them. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Cheyne A.D.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Dorfman L.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Bukofzer E.,Berkeley Media Studies Group | Harris J.L.,Yale Rudd Center for Obesity and Food Policy
Journal of Health Communication | Year: 2013

The Institute of Medicine has warned of the harm of food marketing to children from television to new media channels such as the Internet. The authors identified and analyzed the techniques used to engage children on websites from cereal companies - the third largest food marketer to children. The authors found that top breakfast cereal manufacturers maintain child-oriented websites, using strategies unique to the Internet to capture and maintain children's attention. These include branded engagement techniques such as advergames, videos, site registration, and viral marketing, including inviting friends to join the site. The authors found 3 progressive levels of telepresence on child-targeted cereal websites: sites with more than 1 engaging feature, multiple techniques present on individual pages, and the construction of a virtual world. Using Internet traffic data, the authors confirm that these techniques work: cereal marketers reach children online with lengthier and more sophisticated engagements than are possible with traditional, passive media such as television advertisements or product packaging. Despite the cereal manufacturer's self-regulatory pledge to improve their marketing to children, their marketing practices exploit children's susceptibility to advertising by almost exclusively promoting high-sugar cereals using deeply engaging techniques. Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

PubMed | Berkeley Media Studies Group
Type: | Journal: Annual review of public health | Year: 2014

Media advocacy blends communications, science, politics, and advocacy to advance public health goals. In this article, we explain how media advocacy supports the social justice grounding of public health while addressing public healths wicked problems in the context of American politics. We outline media advocacys theoretical foundations in agenda setting and framing and describe its practical application, from the layers of strategy to storytelling, which can illuminate public health solutions for journalists, policy makers, and the general public. Finally, we describe the challenges in evaluating media advocacy campaigns.

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