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THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE: POLITICAL VALUES AND THE PRODUCTION, COMMUNICATION, AND RECEPTION OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: SECTION II: POLITICS AND SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: The Content and Effect of Politicized Health Controversies

ERIKA FRANKLIN FOWLER ; SARAH E. GOLLUST

Annals, Vol.658 pp.155-296, 2015 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    THE POLITICS OF SCIENCE: POLITICAL VALUES AND THE PRODUCTION, COMMUNICATION, AND RECEPTION OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: SECTION II: POLITICS AND SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: The Content and Effect of Politicized Health Controversies
  • Author: ERIKA FRANKLIN FOWLER ; SARAH E. GOLLUST
  • Subjects: Recommendations; Papillomavirus; Politicization; Contraception; Controversies; Consequences; Paradigmatic; Presentation; Definitions; Alternative; Computer & Internet Law; Education Law; Healthcare Law; Public Health & Welfare Law
  • Is Part Of: Annals, Vol.658 pp.155-296, 2015
  • Description: ... We analyze the evolution of politicization in news coverage of two health controversies: the uproar over the 2009 mammography screening guidelines and the 2006-2007 debate over mandating the HPV vaccine as a requirement for middle school-aged girls. ... Keywords: politics; HPV vaccine; mammography screening; public opinion; news media Examples of the politicization of science (when "political interests shape the presentation of scientific facts" Boisen, Druckman, and Cook 2014 ) are abundant, with climate change being a paradigmatic case. ... To examine the emergence and extent of politicization following the 2009 guidelines, we collected the following news content: (1) evening local television news coverage (broadcasts using closed-caption searches from fifteen media markets selected from four strata of local markets based on population size ); (2) local newspaper coverage (the highest-circulation newspaper available in each of the fifteen markets for which we had TV coverage ); (3) national print and broadcast news coverage of the recommendations (all national nightly news broadcasts (ABC, NBC, CBS) and two national newspapers, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today ). ... As detailed extensively elsewhere (Fowler et al. 2012), we found a rapid increase in HPV vaccine politicization, corresponding with the developments across states, which is robust to alternative ways of measuring politicization (see Figure 2). ... We have also observed that media coverage of controversy over other screening modalities since 2009 (e.g., prostate-specific antigen screening; cervical cancer screening) often references the firestorm of controversy over the breast cancer screening recommendations, suggesting cancer politicization and controversy has now provided a convenient hook for journalists to adapt to related issues. ... In both models, we controlled for the logged count of articles not mentioning controversy over state action (to ensure it is indeed politicization and not total volume of coverage that matters) along with individual characteristics known to affect opinions (i.e., partisanship, ideology, gender, years of education, age, income, and an indicator for whether there is a teenaged girl in the household as well as need-to-evaluate) to guard against the pretreatment coverage covarying with individual differences of respondents. ... Because we believe experimental messaging effects may depend upon the availability of pretreatment politicization, we also examined model stratifications splitting pretreatment politicization at its median to compare low levels of politicization (columns two and five) to high levels of politicization (columns three and six). ... Specifically, although neither of our politicized experimental conditions is distinguishable from the medical conflict condition in the overall specification, we find pretreatment availability of politicization decreases both trust in doctors and in government.
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0002-7162 ; EISSN: 1552-3349
  • Source: Academic Law Reviews (LexisNexis┬«)

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