University of Leicester
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Merging the cultures of health professionals, programme and drama production in the development of a health communication strategy : an ethnographic account of a case-study conducted in BBC local radio

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:40 authored by Anne. Robbins
The initial part of this thesis is an exploration of the effectiveness of health education campaigns that utilise the mass media. Research evidence is drawn from the traditions of media effects, audience reception and health campaign development which has qualified the author's understanding of what mass media could achieve in the health domain.;In Britain, the frustrations resulting from the limited success of mass media campaigns in health education have in recent years led some health educators away from conventional approaches to using the mass media to promote their health messages and towards more imaginative strategies. This thesis utilises one innovative project as a case study which has drawn on the knowledge from earlier failures and successes with mass media, and sought to incorporate best practice in an integrated media based health communication strategy.;The development of a health alliance between four district health authorities in the West Midlands, and a BBC Local Radio station is the basis for the case study on which this research is based. This alliance led to the development of a media-based health communication strategy that incorporates models of media advocacy, education entertainment and social action broadcasting.;This thesis is based on the implementation of the case study. Focusing on the implementation of the strategy enabled an exploration of the relationship interface of the three partners, drama production, programme production and health professionals; with each group exhibiting differing norms and values in terms of their perception of health and mode of operation.;The empirical part of the thesis consists of an ethnographic account and analysis of the relationship interfaces with the three parties involved in the implementation of the health communication strategy, health, drama and programme production staff. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the research findings in the context of their relevance, for health promotion specialists, broadcasters and communication researchers, in seeking to affect the portrayal of health.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Mass media

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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