Autumn books: The Fight for Public Health: Principles and Practice of Media AdvocacyBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6962.1168 (Published 29 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1168
- G D Smith
Simon Chapman, Deborah Lupton BMJ Publishing Group, pounds sterling 19.95, pp 270 ISBN 0-7279-0849-9
How do you translate the findings of epidemiological studies into policies that actually improve population health? Chapman and Lupton's ambitious efforts to “examine both the why and how of the ways that particular public health issues become prominent and politically actionable in an issue-rich political and news environment” should greatly help. Their strategy is “media advocacy” - the use of mass media to influence public, health policy. Through many case studies, mostly concerning smoking, the prevention of accidents, and gun control in Australia, they show how creative use of the media can play an important part in public health campaigns.
There are, of course, powerful forces opposing the potentially positive effects of media coverage of health issues. Not least of these is the economic clout of the manufacturers of health damaging products. Threats by tobacco companies to pull advertising from …