Cancer coverage in general-audience and Black newspapers

Health Commun. 2008 Sep;23(5):427-35. doi: 10.1080/10410230802342176.


This article presents findings from the first study of cancer news coverage in a national sample of Black and general-audience newspapers. We compared 2,439 health news stories from 23 weekly Black newspapers to 2,767 health news stories from a constructed week sample of 12 daily general-audience newspapers, both collected between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2005. Analyses examined differences in the amount and nature of cancer coverage, specifically cancer sites, disparities, localization, and personally mobilizing health information for readers. Cancer was the main topic in a higher proportion of health stories in Black newspapers than in general-audience newspapers (13.6% vs. 9.6%; p = .001). Among cancer stories, those in Black newspapers had more localization (p = .004), disparity information (p = .001), and personal mobilization information (p = .001) than those in general-audience newspapers. In neither type of newspaper did the distribution of stories by cancer site accurately reflect the impact of different cancers on population mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Americans* / education
  • African Americans* / statistics & numerical data
  • Bibliometrics*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Journalism, Medical*
  • Neoplasms* / classification
  • Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms* / ethnology
  • Newspapers as Topic / classification
  • Newspapers as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology