Health information is a regular topic for news discussions. The general public often cites the news media as a key source for health awareness or information. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, while an effective cancer prevention tool, can be viewed as a controversial health topic, particularly from those in the anti-vaccine movement. How the vaccine is represented in the media may influence perceptions of the vaccine, which may have implications for vaccine acceptance or uptake. The data set contained English language, worldwide news articles published online pertaining to the HPV vaccine from January 2014 to September 2015 (n=21,824). Articles were analyzed for their publication date, country of origin, source, intended audience, scientific basis, and its impact, identified as how many times the article was duplicated by other news sources. Articles categorized by source included online-only publications, television broadcasts, newspapers, radio broadcasts, blogs, magazines, and journal articles. The audience was identified as local or national based on distribution and the scientific basis was self-identified from the publication. The United States published 86% of the analyzed articles, much more than the United Kingdom, which had the second highest publishing rate of 12%. Major spikes in article count were seen in January of both years coinciding with Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Online-only publications accounted for 73% of articles, but did not reach a large audience. More traditional news outlets, such as newspapers and television broadcasts reached a much larger audience. This analysis allows us to better understand the extent to which the HPV vaccine is being discussed in the online news media and the implications for disseminating accurate health information.
Recommended CitationSoprano, MPHc, Samantha and Leader, PhD, Amy, "An analysis of how the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is represented in the online news media environment" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 247.