A recent study investigated the ways news articles portrayed “locus of responsibility” for cancer causes and solutions, and it identified the factors associated with the different LOR frames in cancer news in South Korea.
The study focused on the medical expertise of health journalists and how they were more likely to write cancer stories with personal LOR frames in both cause and solution than general journalists were. The study also showed that, particularly in cause-related cancer news, news organizations without professional medical journalists used more personal LOR frames than those with professional medical journalists.
The study analyzed 24 news media outlets: three TV networks, 16 general print media, three medical newspapers, one online medical news site, and one news agency website. The study looked at news items published between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2012. Once they excluded all overlapping articles, the total number of news stories they had collected was 13,583. Of the selection, only 11 percent of the news articles were selected.
The first half of the study looked at which frame was more prevalent in cancer news; personal or social LOR. They found that 90 percent of cancer news talked about cancer causes, with 38.7 percent of them adopting a personal LOR frame and 26.5 percent adopting a social frame.
Other frames included in the research were nature (17.8 percent) and technology (17.8 percent). The percentage of those that did not include a word related to cancer causes was 11.4 percent. Cancer news that mentioned what to do about cancer or cancer solutions was about 80 percent. Of the 80 percent, 49.4 percent used a personal LOR frame and 36.9 percent used a social LOR frame.
The study ran four more tests and concluded that more needs to be considered for improving cancer prevention. The results suggest that there needs to be more education about public health, social determinants of health, and health communication in South Korea’s medical curriculum.
South Korea, according to the research, needs to develop a journalism education and training program to emphasize the importance of balanced cancer news frames that contain both personal and social responsibilities for cancer incidences and treatment.
For full text: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1077699017700361?journalCode=jmqc
Kim, Y., Shim, M., Kim, J. H., & Park, K. (summer 2017). Factors Affecting the “Locus of Responsibility” in Cancer News: Focusing on the Role of Health Journalists’ Medical Expertise in South Korea. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 94(2), 465-485. Retrieved September 28, 2018.