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  of Public Health
  Columbia University
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Research & Policy

Media advocacy and public health: Power for prevention
Lawrence Wallack, Lori Dorfman, David Jernigan and Makani Themba

This book addresses the relationship between media and public health. The basic idea behind media advocacy is to link the individual to society. From a public health perspective, media advocacy addresses social and political factors that influence health issues. Although many people view the media with distrust, the media can be a powerful tool to influence people and promote health, and to help public health advocates mobilize a community to reach populations that are at risk or hard to reach. These groups then develop a voice to draw attention to their situation or concern.

Media advocacy involves changing power relationships, and increasing public knowledge. It can be used to pressure decision makers to develop positive health initiatives. The book examines the practice and theory of media advocacy, and how the media functions. Authors advise health advocates to research their issues well, frame the issues from their perspectives, develop an agenda, build coalitions, and specify goals. Accounts of media advocacy campaigns highlight important lessons, like publicizing an issue by portraying an individual's dramatic struggle.

Sage Publications, Inc.
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
(805) 499-0721
Fax: (805) 499-0871
(1993, 217 pp.; $42 cloth, $18.50 paper + $2 p/h)


copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.