Background: Media advocacy plays an important role in public health initiatives, as it can provide vital information to target populations, policy makers, or other relevant stakeholders. Unfortunately, little is currently known about the use of media advocacy to promote occupational safety and health programs. This study explores media coverage related to the Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) Rebate Programs, which were designed to encourage the use of rollover protection on agricultural tractors, thus reducing the risk of tractor overturn fatalities. The Program's portrayal in the media, as well as the role that the media has played in implementing and sustaining these Programs.
Methods: Media articles pertaining to any of the state-based or National ROPS Rebate Programs and published between November 1, 2006 and October 31, 2018 were included for review. Discourse analysis was used to understand the messages portrayed by the media and how those messages shaped the outcomes of the ROPS Rebate Programs.
Results: During the study period, 212 unique articles were published about the ROPS Rebate Programs. While these articles all portrayed the ROPS Rebate Programs in a largely positive light, they were used at different stages, from pre-implementation through sustainment of the ROPS Rebate Programs, and to different extents.
Conclusions: Media articles have played an important role in implementing and sustaining the ROPS Rebate Programs. Based on the results of this study, more robust and continuous media coverage are important for the longevity and success of public health programs.
Keywords: Discourse analysis; Implementation; Media advocacy; Rollover protection.