Website: Health and safety

This prototype website incorporates data and resources about violence to show how journalists can use a data-driven approach to crime reporting. It can also serve as a model for web-based reporting on other public health issues. Learn here about how web shells can enhance coverage of violence and other issues.

more >
Voices for change: A taxonomy of public communications campaigns and their evaluation challenges [pdf]

The Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington DC commissioned this paper as part of a collaborative project designed to research, develop, test, and disseminate principles for evaluating nonprofit communications. The paper profiles various strategic communication campaigns that differ in purpose, scope, and maturity to identify the evaluation challenges each presents in its messy real-world context.

download PDF >
Youth violence stories focus on events, not causes

A content analysis of three major California newspapers shows that routine coverage about youth crimes fails to provide context to help readers make sense of such events. This context should include the contributions to violent behavior that poverty, inadequate schools, discrimination, abuse, easy access to weapons, the over-commercialization of liquor, and other environmental factors make. Unreported, these elements have less chance of being understood and remedied.

more >
Issue 12: American values and the news about children's health

The term "values" often acts as political shorthand, usually for the political agenda of social conservatives. Yet values systems are crucial to any political culture. How competing American value systems of individualism and what we call interconnection are represented in news stories will influence readers' interpretations of the stories. The news about children's health provides a useful lens for analyzing American values in the news since both conservative and progressive voices claim to "leave no child behind."

more >
Issue 11: Silent revolution: How U.S. newspapers portray child care

In an information economy dependent on education, child care brims with news value. But an analysis of national news on child care shows that is far from the case. Issue 11 compares every story about child care published on the business pages of 11 newspapers in 1999 and 2000 to child care stories in other parts of the same newspapers to see not only how frequent coverage is, but also how the stories are framed and who gets quoted the most within them.

more >
What a health and safety section or 'shell' looks like on a news organization's website

Context and continuity are hard to come by in print and television. But on the web, stories of the day can be presented as part of web "shells," packages that contain links to data, community resources, stories that have been previously published, and background information.

more >
Reporting on violence: New ideas for print, television and web [pdf]

This reporter's handbook offers data, resources and suggestions on how to develop data-driven crime and violence stories. We have distributed nearly 1,000 copies to reporters and others in more than 131 news media outlets, journalism programs or affiliated organizations in California and across the country.

download PDF >
Issue 10: Newspaper coverage of childhood nutrition policies

Childhood obesity is on the rise, reaching epidemic proportions. Public health advocates have many mechanisms to arrest this trend, but are they getting the attention of policy makers through the news? To find out, Issue 10 analyzes two years of news coverage on childhood nutrition issues in California's major newspapers.

more >
Reporting on violence: Bringing a public health perspective into the newsroom

This case study documents how journalists can be meaningfully engaged on this topic with people from public health despite typical barriers to access faced by public health practitioners and solid resistance from many editors and reporters. The authors describe goals, objectives, and activities across five daily newspapers along with journalists' reactions, concerns, and resistance to the issues raised.

more >
Off balance: Youth, race & crime in the news [pdf]

This report assesses findings from content analyses on crime news, investigating whether news coverage reflects actual crime trends; how news coverage depicts minorities and crime; and whether news coverage disproportionately depicts minority youth as perpetrators.

download PDF >
Reporting on violence: Instructor's guide [pdf]

This handbook was created to help instructors infuse a data-driven approach into teaching journalism students how to report on violence.

download PDF >
youth homicide
Videos: A public health approach to reporting on youth violence

These videos were developed as part of a project to educate journalists on how to apply a public health approach to reporting on crime and violence. They show the original and revised versions of a local newscast on youth homicide. 

more >
hate crime reporting
Videos: A public health approach to reporting on hate crimes

These videos were developed as part of a project to educate journalists on how to apply a public health approach to reporting on crime and violence. They show the original and revised versions of a local newscast on hate crimes.

more >
bomb threat
Videos: A public health approach to reporting on bomb threats

These videos were developed as part of a project to educate journalists on how to apply a public health approach to reporting on crime and violence. They show the original and revised versions of a local newscast on a bomb threat.

more >
Issue 9: Youth and violence in California newspapers

In the week following the Columbine shootings, news reporting was so ubiquitous that it frightened students, teachers, and parents coast-to-coast -- even though schools are one of the safest places for children to be. This Issue measures how reporting about more proximate and probable threats to California young people compares with coverage of dangers rare and remote.

more >
Issue 8: The debate on gun policies in U.S. and midwest newspapers

Gun violence and its prevention were thrust onto the public's agenda on April 20, 1999, with the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. But the shootings did not happen in a vacuum. In this Issue, we explore the context of gun policy debate in newspapers during the spring of 1999.

more >
Myths about defensive gun use and permissive gun carry laws [pdf]

Some researchers have argued that communities are safer when more residents carry guns. But are they? Daniel Webster and Jens Ludwig examine the evidence put forth in various studies by John Lott and Gary Kleck to assess the question. Until proven otherwise, they write, the best science indicates that more guns will lead to more deaths.

download PDF >
The gun control movement has found its voice: But still needs to find its way [pdf]

The majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws, and they are silent no more. They are telling newscasters, pollsters, and politicians that they want something done to end the ease with which people can get guns. This report traces the trajectory of public opinion on guns and makes recommendations for violence prevention advocates who want to amplify the public's voice on this issue.

download PDF >
The California Violence Prevention Initiative: Advancing policy to ban Saturday night specials

The California Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) was conceived in 1993 as a policy advocacy effort to reduce violence among youth. The VPI included an emphasis on shifting societys definition of violence to include a public health perspective, reducing access to alcohol and other drugs, and limiting availability of handguns. Prior to the VPI, there were no local SNS bans. Now, there are bans in 41 California jurisdictions.

more >
Gun policy in seven midwestern states: A brief analysis [pdf]

This report explores gun laws in seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. These states, whose laws vary from unusually restrictive to remarkably permissive, present a host of challenges and opportunities for gun violence prevention advocates.

download PDF >
News for a change: An advocate's guide to working with the media

News for a Change provides step-by-step instructions for public health advocates working with the media to promote social change. The book provides a guide to media advocacy -- the strategic use of mass media to advance policies that improve health.

more >
Issue 7: Child care coverage in U.S. newspapers

The lines of debate on child care are drawn between the personal responsibility of parents to provide for their own families and the role of the government or other institutions in helping meet this vital need. In Issue 7, we analyze this tension in five years of child care news and opinion.

more >
Constructing violence as a public health problem

Once viewed primarily as a criminal justice problem, violence and its prevention are now often claimed by public health professionals as being within their purview. After reviewing 282 articles published in public health and medical journals from 1985 through 1995 that discussed violence as a public health problem, the author found a tension between public health professionals' vision of the social precursors of violence and their attempts to apply a traditional set of remedies.

more >
Issue 6: Youth radio: Broadcasting violence prevention

Youth Radio is dedicated to bringing the voices of youth to young and adult audiences. This is a story of young people using radio to create their own representations as a mechanism for violence prevention.

more >
The roles of speakers in local television news stories on youth and violence

Violence is a perplexing and multi-dimensional problem, about which the public remains largely misinformed. TV news is important to violence prevention because it heightens awareness of the issue and because it is the most consumed news source. This article examines whose voice is represented in local TV news stories about youth and violence.

more >
  • Follow Us On Facebook
  • Follow Us On Twitter
  • Join Us On Youtube
  • BMSG RSS Feed

get e-alerts in your inbox: