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Framing Cancer for Online News: Implications for Popular Perceptions of Cancer

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News frames can influence how people think about disease. In a pair of studies, we demonstrate how contemporary news outlets frame cancer and how exposure to common frames can affect news audiences' perceptions of those who suffer from cancer. First, we examine the current landscape of frame usage in online cancer news, employing frames ideally suited to the depiction of health and disease. We compare our results with previously published research in this news domain. Second, we employ these frames in a multimessage experiment to assess the influence of cancer news framing on individuals' perceptions about cancer, cancer interventions, and those with cancer. We conclude with a discussion of implications for framing research and health news production.
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Keywords: Cancer; Content Analysis; Experiment; Framing; Health; Online News

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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