False Balance in Public Health Reporting? Michele Bachmann, the HPV Vaccine, and “Mental Retardation”

Ryan J. Thomas, Edson C. Tandoc, Amanda Hinnant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

This content analysis of media coverage of Michele Bachmann’s erroneous comments that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation explores the relationship between truth-telling (the presentation of accurate information) and balance (presenting opposing perspectives of an issue equally and legitimately) in public health reporting. Of 200 articles analyzed, about 50% provided correction and about 40% provided a counterpoint. We also found that health reporters tended to engage in truth-telling and balance more than political reporters. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-160
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Communication
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'False Balance in Public Health Reporting? Michele Bachmann, the HPV Vaccine, and “Mental Retardation”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this