ERIC Number: ED366014
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Mass Media Messages, Myths and Martyrs: Analyzing "America Responds to AIDS" Public Service Announcements, 1987-1992.
Swanson, Douglas J.
Focusing on the federal government's efforts to educate the public to the dangers of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a study examined "America Responds to AIDS" public service announcements (PSA's) through a traditional rhetorical analysis (PSA characters, plot, pace, tone, and message design). Forty-four English-language television and radio PSA's produced under the "America Responds to AIDS" campaign were examined. Results indicated that the PSA's: (1) support cultural stereotypes of male carriers and female victims; (2) used inexplicit terminology; (3) employed fear appeals; (4) blocked access to helpful information with a government gatekeeper; and (5) empowered AIDS as an active social phenomena--rather than a medical problem--which attacks helpless victims. Findings suggest that the PSA's supported "traditional" family and social relationships; denied homosexuals and other disenfranchised groups a voice in the fight against the disease; and failed to address behavioral changes needed to control the spread of HIV infection and AIDS. (Contains 42 references.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Health Communication; Media Campaigns; Public Information; Public Service Advertising
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).