Effectiveness of Communicating Health Messages through Mass Media: An Analysis

Payal Sen Choudhury


One of the primary duty of media is to spread information to create awareness for the welfare of the society. With the increasing access of media, its duty towards informing and educating the people to health issues have increased. Media forms a bridge between the health communicator, policy maker and the public. Health authorities educate the media with necessary health information and entrust them to pass on the information to the public in attractive and acceptable formats with the help of different mass media.
In addition to examining the role of traditional mass media, such as print and television, we need to examine the role of new technologies in shaping the public's health. Not only this, we also need to consider how these technologies should be used in effective, appropriate, and ethical ways. Against such backdrop, this paper, ‘Effectiveness of Communicating Health Messages through Mass Media: An Analysis', seeks to understand the contribution of traditional media and new media technologies in supporting health policy and practice.
To meet this goal the paper attempts to accomplish the health communication practices and theories in mass media. In this effort a single medium or single technology is not explored, instead all available medium is analysed to understand the options available to a health communicator. The effectiveness of the content of the message is judged through survey to understand its actual effectiveness among the people. The paper ends with a few recommendation health communicators should keep in mind while planning health messages. The study was also conducted on the health related messages that appear in print media (Newspaper and Magazine) and electronic media (Television and Radio) as well as new media. The radio and television channels, newspapers and magazine used for the analysis were randomly chosen. This aspect of the study gave an insight into involvement of the media within the health communications. Along with this a survey tried to understand the success in the method adopted by the media for conveying health issues and what are the areas communicator needs to look into while placing the message

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