This study examines a national survey of U.S. health journalists (N = 774) to ascertain how journalists' perceptions of audience use of health news shapes their journalistic practices. We establish a framework through attribution theory and expectancy-value theory for how journalists choose to fulfill their roles as providers of health information. Using these theoretical lenses, we look at whether health journalists' audience orientation is associated with their use of accessibility-oriented or credibility-focused practices. Our findings show that, overall, journalists believe readers are individually responsible for their health outcomes and that journalists focus on providing accessibility-oriented information when they feel their audience's ability to understand information may be compromised. Journalists' beliefs about audience behavior are associated with their attitudes toward communication practices.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)