Sympathy, shame, and few solutions: News media portrayals of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

soil-media-strategy

Sympathy, shame, and few solutions: News media portrayals of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Objective:

There is a lack of public understanding about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), and
many countries lack policies to deal with FASD concerns. Given the role of news media in disseminating a range of health information, the aim of the current study was to explore the media coverage on alcohol use during pregnancy and FASD, and to identify ways to improve associated health messages.

Design:

The current study uses a framing analysis of news media reports about FASD over a 1-year period. Framing analysis seeks to better understand how media messages serve to shape the thoughts, feelings, and decisions of readers.

Findings:

Two frames dominated the media coverage of FASD: a frame of sympathy, and a frame of
shame. Some news media encouraged feelings of sympathy for children with FASD, while others encouraged sympathy…

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