Journalists and their sources of ideas and information on medicines

Soc Sci Med. 1994 Feb;38(4):637-43. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(94)90261-5.


In this article we describe from which sources science writers who write about medicines in daily newspapers get their ideas and information. This study was undertaken because mass media, and therefore newspapers, can play an important role in the diffusion of information about medicines. Two approaches, interviews and a content analysis, were used to answer the research questions. Both methods show the importance of professional medical journals and information from universities and their hospitals as sources of ideas and information. Although the pharmaceutical industry did not seem to play a role as source of ideas and information according to the journalists, it is the third most frequently cited source of information in the newspaper articles. To gain a better insight in the role of the pharmaceutical industry as source of ideas and information for newspaper journalists further research is necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Drug Industry
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Journalism, Medical*
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Science
  • Universities