Health  Vol.6 No.14 , July 2014
Media: A Double-Edged Sword in the Disease Control. Content Analysis of News Report on SARS Event in Taiwan
Abstract: Objective: This study was conducted to explore what media exactly do when disease is emerging and furthermore, to infer the role and the responsibility that media should play. Method: A content analysis with 0.81 inter-rater reliability was adopted to categorize SARS-related events shown on the three major newspapers in 117 days, dated from March 13th (the date before the first probable case of SARS in Taiwan was identified) to July 7th (the date after Taiwan was removed from the list of SARS-affected countries by the bulletin of World Health Organization), 2003. Results: There were totally 8923 SARS events related news found in the observed newspapers during the study period. When the epidemic situation is more serious, the media will also lay out more coverage on reporting the related contents. In the reporting contents, the three most influential newspapers in Taiwan mainly emphasized the impact dimension (34.27%). Only 2.16% of the coverage was on the topic of health communication and prevention education. Overall, the opinions of general public are the primary sources of news (46.57%). Health authority was not the main and typical sources information of the press (9.42%). Conclusion: Media is a double-edged sword in the communicable disease control. We suggest that the health authority should take advantage of media to transmit message rapidly to convey related information to public.
Cite this paper: Wang, S. , Yaung, C. , Liao, H. and Chiang, H. (2014) Media: A Double-Edged Sword in the Disease Control. Content Analysis of News Report on SARS Event in Taiwan. Health, 6, 1760-1766. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.614208.

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