Communicating medical advances in television health news: the influence of a human interest frame on audiences' cognitive and emotional responses
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The dissemination of scientific advances in medicine became popular in television health news over the last few decades. The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of news frames in television health news reporting of scientific medical advances. Based on framing theory and exemplification theory, this study aims to examine individuals' cognitive and emotional reactions to the news stories in a human interest frame vs. a non-human interest frame. A 2 (news frame: a human interest frame vs. a non-human interest frame) x 3 (health consciousness: low vs. medium vs. high) mixed factorial experiment was conducted. Responses from 98 participants were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVAs and bootstrapping analysis. Major findings indicate that human interest framing motivated audiences to become more involved in the news story and understand health information. In response to a human interest frame, people also tended to express greater level of hope and relief, and reported more favorable opinions about the medical achievement they watched. While both challenges and opportunities exist, this study elucidated that human interest framing could serve as a significant news framing tool to construct health news.