ERIC Number: ED328912
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Link between Mobilizing Information and Service Journalism as Applied to Women's Magazine Coverage of Eating Disorders. SCILS Research Report No. 90-21.
Reed, Barbara Straus
The dramatic increase in the incidence of eating disorders among young women indicates a growing need for health education. However, women's magazines that perpetuate images of beauty and thinness may reinforce the disorders. Researchers have looked for strategies that encourage participation in society by those who partake of American media. One researcher has proposed giving information to people that helps them act on attitudes they already have ("mobilizing information" or "MI"), and giving information intended to energize participation on behalf of an attitude embedded in the message itself ("mobilizing message" or "MM"). In a study, content analysis was conducted on 51 eating disorder articles published in popular women's magazines during the 1980s. Most of the articles contained MM, while fewer than half included MI. Mobilizing messages tended to take the form of general advice, with no specifics. The mobilizing information stressed that sufferers were not alone and that help was available; specifics were given. Of articles using MM and MI, most were identificational. A few were tactical. No locational MI appeared. Editors' attitudes about articles with mobilizing information bear investigation and systematic study, as does the impact of advertising, editorials, and maintaining editorial objectivity. (Twenty-six references are attached.) (SG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Health Communication; Message Perception; Womens Magazines
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (73rd, Minneapolis, MN, August 1-4, 1990). Best available copy.