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Sexually transmitted diseases - Essay Example

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According to the study conducted by the Institute of Medicine (1997), the United States finds itself as the industrialized country with the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV. "Approximately 18.9 million new cases of STDs (excluding HIV) occur each year in the U.S…
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Sexually transmitted diseases
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Download file to see previous pages The foremost factor that contributes to the pending problem is that people are not knowledgeable about the dangers and risks of sexually transmitted diseases. In-depth awareness of the causes, risks, and effects of STDs is clearly lacking in the public. Such lack of awareness is evident in the lifestyle that many Americans live today. Although people may have realized the need for safe sex, they continue to be uninformed about the other ways by which they can contract sexually transmitted diseases.
Increasing awareness regarding sexually transmitted diseases has become a growing concern in today's society. Various means of educating the public have been continuously been explored. However, the most important public information source has yet to be fully utilized, the media. The media in the modern times has served as the primary means people gain knowledge about the various issues that are present in society. It is from the media that people get information about current issues ranging from politics, global affairs, economics, and public health. The media is the information resource that has the most extensive reach. Moreover, the influence of media in the lives of people is vast. It can sway public opinion towards one side. (Stoughton) With such great influence over public perception and opinion, media can easily promote awareness regarding important issues such as STDs just as it promotes awareness regarding violence so easily.
This paper will discuss the role of one form of media, newspaper, in increasing the public's knowledge and awareness regarding sexually transmitted diseases. New articles found in the nationally-circulated newspapers that tackle the issue of STDs will be analyzed to determine the extent to which the issue is discussed. Furthermore, past researches and studies will likewise be reviewed. The primary objective of this study will be to determine the extent to which print news media informs the public regarding sexually transmitted diseases.
Review of Related Literature
In this section, previous studies will be discussed to determine what their findings suggest about the coverage that the subject of STDs receives from print news media. Also, news articles from nationally-circulated newspapers will be analyzed to ascertain whether sexually transmitted diseases received ample substantive news reporting from the newspapers. Furthermore, this section will discuss how print new media reports STDs to the public and whether such kind of reporting contributes to increasing the awareness of the public significantly regarding the problem.
A study conducted by Davidson and Wallack (2004) involved a content analysis of articles from the leading American newspapers to determine the type of new coverage that print media outlets gave to the issue of sexually transmitted diseases. The results of the study revealed a lack of substantive reporting on the subject of sexually transmitted diseases. Davidson and Wallack found that less that one-fourth of the articles they reviewed contained anything that pertains to the causes, consequences, prevention, signs, or symptoms, screening, transmission, treatment, trends or rates of STDs. (2004). Most of the articles contained statistical information regarding sexually transmitted diseases. According to Davidson and Wallack (2004), statistical information may be what journalists perceive as newsworthy about STDs; journalists report that they are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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