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Public health researchers engage with media for greater good, not to boost their egos, finds study

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3747 (Published 28 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3747
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

Influential public health researchers view working with the media as an important part of their jobs, finds a new study that challenges negative stereotypes about academics’ engagement with the media.

A study of 36 Australian public health researchers, nominated by peers as leaders in their fields, found that they saw working with the media as “a critical aspect of their professional duty to advance public health.”

The study, to be published in the Journal of Health Communication, was conducted by researchers from the University of Sydney and University of Queensland.1

Researchers interviewed for the study said that some colleagues regarded those with high media profiles with “disdain,” seeing media engagement as an unseemly “ego-driven, empire-building” activity favoured by self promoting “show ponies.”

However, all but one of the researchers in the study regularly engaged with the media …

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