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Health News Coverage in the U.S. Media

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism conducted this study of how the U.S. news media covered health issues over an 18-month period from January 2007 through June 2008. The study finds that news about health and health care made up less than four percent (3.6%) of all news content from January 2007 through June 2008.

The study also examines the type of health coverage in the news, and finds that the largest proportion (42%) of the stories were about specific diseases or conditions. Thirty-one percent of health news focused on public health issues, including potential epidemics and contamination of food and drugs. The smallest category of stories focused on health policy or the health care system (27%) of all health news, or less than one percent (.9%) of all news content.

Report (.pdf)