Are Health Journalists Practices Tied to Their Perceptions of Audience? An Attribution and Expectancy-Value Approach

Amanda Hinnant*, María E. Len-Ríos, Hyun Jee OH

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-243
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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