Cancer coverage in general-audience and black newspapers

Elisia L. Cohen, Charlene A. Caburnay, Douglas A. Luke, Shelly Rodgers, Glen T. Cameron, Matthew W. Kreuter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
JournalHealth communication
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Cancer Institute, Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research initiative (1 P50 CA 095815). The authors thank Jon Stemmle, Paul Atkins, Petya Eckler, Nneka Ekunno, Mark Graves, Aisha Langford, Lillie McDaniels, Hans Meyer, Meghan Maskery, Melissa Paulen, Erin Sirianni, Santosh Vijaykumar, and Monica Wohlberg for their assistance in reviewing and coding newspaper stories.


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