Study: Media can distort public’s views on infectious diseases

admin buraha , , , , , , , , , , ,

first_imgNov 5, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Media coverage of infectious diseases such as avian influenza can create the impression that the conditions are more of a threat than they really are, according to a recent study from Canada.However, media stories that include factual information on disease symptoms, mortality, and infection rates leave readers with a more accurate view of the risks, according to the authors, who published their findings in the Oct 29 issue of Public Library of Science One (PLoS One). The study group is from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.Meredith Young, lead author and graduate student in McMasters’ Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior, said in a university press release that the media focus on rare and dramatic events. “When a certain disease receives repeated coverage in the press, people tend to focus on it and perceive it as a real threat,” she said. “This raises concerns regarding how people view their own health, how they truly understand disease, and how they treat themselves.”Looking for readership trendsThe researchers compared reader impressions of 10 infectious diseases. Five have frequently appeared in the print media—anthrax, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and avian influenza. The other five are rarely mentioned in news stories—tularemia, human babesiosis, yellow fever, Lassa fever, and hantavirus.In two different experiments, undergraduate psychology students and then medical students were asked to rate the seriousness of the diseases; judge the likelihood that each condition was actually a disease, ie, how “disease like” it was; and estimate how many of their peers would contract the disease in the ensuing year.To assess if immediately available information can skew perceptions of well-known diseases, the authors randomly assigned some volunteers in each group to make judgments based only on the disease name and others to base their assessments on the disease name followed by a short description. They included a medical student group to assess if the disease perceptions were more accurate in a better informed group.Frequency skews severity impressionsBoth the undergraduates and the medical students rated the “high media frequency” diseases as more serious than the “low media frequency” diseases and gave similar ratings for disease-like status. However, the medical students estimated lower prevalence rates for the diseases.The disease descriptions tempered the media effect in the undergraduates, but not in the medical students, the authors found. They said a possible reason for this difference is that the medical students may have already had more knowledge about the diseases.In a third experiment, the authors paired similar disorders—for example, human babesiosis and Lyme disease—based on label-free disease descriptions and asked 12 graduate students to rate severity. These students rated the low-media-frequency diseases as worse than the more heavily covered conditions.The results suggest that disorders more likely to be covered by the media are not considered to be objectively worse, the authors reported.The group concluded, on the basis of the three experiments, that repetitive media coverage can bias the public’s perceptions of diseases.”The media function as a critical interface between the scientific community, government, and the public, with a responsibility to strike a careful balance between raising awareness of issues of public concern and irrationally alarming the public at large,” they wrote.Expert weighs in on media coveragePeter Sandman, PhD, a risk communication expert based in Princeton, N.J., told CIDRAP News that the findings are familiar and stretch beyond infectious diseases. “You find that public concern and media coverage are strongly correlated with each other and that neither is strongly correlated with technical seriousness,” he said.However, Sandman questioned the group’s assertion that the media alone influence the level of concern and suggested that the decision to cover a topic is more complex and dynamic. He pointed out that journalists typically cover issues their readers and viewers consider important. “Public concern influences the amount of coverage, the amount of coverage influences public concern, and both are influenced by other characteristics of the disease or risk in question,” Sandman said.Placing a priority on novel diseases can be useful, because sometimes rare and dramatic occurrences are sentinel events, he said. “SARS at first looked like every virologist’s worst fears come true. It took a while to learn that super-spreaders were rare and the disease was susceptible to traditional epidemiologic measures.”Other aspects besides seriousness are relevant to a disease’s newsworthiness, such as the bioterrorism potential in anthrax and the pandemic risk posed by avian influenza, Sandman said.”Note also that newsworthy diseases often break policy ground that affects a society’s preparedness for less newsworthy diseases as well,” he said. “Anthrax, for example, has had a big impact on bioterrorism preparedness policy—which certainly includes preparedness for a tularemia attack.”Sandman said the bottom line is that the media gravitate toward new diseases that have unsettled policy implications and might lead to a natural or manmade disaster.Early media emphasis on a new infectious disease, before many people die, can help society take early, appropriate precautions, he said. “Sometimes the media miss these potentially serious risks until they become serious in the here-and-now, but sometimes they do their job right,” Sandman added.With avian influenza, the media problem isn’t that people have an inflated impression of its risk, he said. “It (media coverage) has died down too quickly, and avian flu hasn’t been hooked clearly enough to the pandemic threat.”Young ME, Norman GR, Humphreys KR. Medicine in the popular press: the influence of media on perceptions of disease. PLoS One 2008 Oct 29;3(10):[Full text]See also:Oct 29 McMaster University press releaselast_img

You May Also Like..

ActionPoint award for UL student’s license plate recognition system

first_imgLinkedin Some of the projects that were judged in the ActionPoint competition Advertisement Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Facebook Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live UNIVERSITY of Limerick computer systems student Jonathan Lloyd has claimed first prize in the ActionPoint excellence in commerciality and innovation award for his final year project on license plate recognition.Now in its fourth year, the award recognises the best projects from 4th year students of Computer Science and Information Systems (CSIS) degrees at UL.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Jonathan’s ‘License Plate Recognition’ system was commended by ActionPoint’s judges because of its “clean architecture and functionality”.The judging panel also commented on the “efficiency gains” that this system can offer over existing technology. Mallow Native Keith O’Brien claimed second prize for his Intelligent ‘Horse Racing Predictor’ system.ActionPoint was founded in 2005 by UL CSIS graduates John Savage and David Jeffreys, who were both awarded the prestigious UL Alumni award in Autumn of last year.John Savage said that the ActionPoint founders have “very close ties to the University, as graduates ourselves, and of course, we are located on campus, only a stones-throw away from the CSIS building. Over the past decade we’ve grown to almost 100 employees, many of whom are UL graduates. We’re very happy to help engage and support engineers of the future through our FYP competition.”The competition has long been a source of high quality graduate placements for ActionPoint, which provides IT services and custom software to key companies across multiple sectors, including the likes of Chill Insurance, Munster Rugby, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ActionPoint delivered the online passport renewal project for the Department last year, with the (then) Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan calling it “one of the most significant innovations in customer service for the past 15 years”.ActionPoint currently employs close to 100 people at it’s Limerick HQ, and has offices in the UK, Europe and the US. ActionPoint is a Microsoft Gold Partner, Dell Country Partner of the Year 2014 and 2016 and has won the Deloitte Fast 50 award for the past four years in a row. ActionPoint were also awarded Deloitte Best Managed company status for the second year running.See more Limerick news here RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Email WhatsApp Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live BusinessNewsEducationLimerickActionPoint award for UL student’s license plate recognition systemBy Staff Reporter – April 10, 2018 2098 Previous articleOh Mein Gott!Next articleFirearm seized at Limerick train station Staff Reporter Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Twitter Print TAGSActionPointFYPlimerickULUniversity of Limerick WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clashlast_img

Access to Mortgage Credit May Suffer

first_img Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post Access to Mortgage Credit May Suffer Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Share Save Home / Daily Dose / Access to Mortgage Credit May Suffer Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Ben Carson Commends Investigation Into Landlord Sexual Harassment Complaints Next: FEMA Delivers Update on NFIP Progress Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribe Redfin reveals that while nearly half of all Americans purchased homes last year with down payments of less 20%, tightened lending standards could provide roadblocks to homeownership. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index fell 16% in March to its lowest level in five years, with Redfin saying banks are growing wary of borrowers requesting delayed payments in forbearance programs. As estimated 25% of the loans written by Redfin last quarter may not have been possible to originate under new standards. “Thousands of Americans who were priced out of the housing market due to the affordability crisis of the past decade might finally see homeownership as within reach, especially given historically-low mortgage rates. But unfortunately, they are now faced with another roadblock and may not be able to get a loan,” Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari said. “Home equity is the primary way for Americans to build wealth. It’s important that policymakers address this tightening of credit, as it has raised the barrier to homeownership.”The report adds that banks have begun to steer away from jumbo loans, which are used for more expensive homes. Average borrowers, however, are also being squeezed. JPMorgan Chase raised its credit score minimum to 700 and began requiring applicants to have enough savings for a 20% down payment. Wells Fargo is also shying away from riskier loans for borrowers who are unable to provide down payments of 20% and increased its FICO-score requirement to 680.“As unemployment continues to skyrocket and more homeowners default on their mortgages, other banks may follow suit,” Redfin said. Virginia Beach, Virginia, was the highest among the 50 metros studied with 70% of home sales being financed with a down payment of less than 20%. This is mostly due to the region being home to a large military population, many of whom take out VA loans that don’t require down payments. Camden, New Jersey, came in at second at 58.5%. “It’s not just Americans in relatively affordable areas like Virginia Beach who are bearing the brunt of tighter lending standards,” Bokhari said. “Buyers at both the low and high ends of the market seem to be having the most trouble getting loans right now, leaving the middle of the market relatively unscathed.” Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago 2020-04-30 Mike Albanese April 30, 2020 1,279 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago About Author: Mike Albanese The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days agolast_img

JCA membership drive brings in support for arts

first_img Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? Urologist Reveals: Do This Immediately (Watch)Healthier LivingWomen Only: Stretch This Muscle to Stop Bladder Leakage (Watch)Healthier LivingRemoving Moles & Skin Tags Has Never Been This EasyEssential HealthGet Fortnite SkinsTCGThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancel Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration Email the author Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson By The Penny Hoarder By all accounts, the Season Membership and Kick-Off Party at The Studio Thursday night was a smashing success. The event was a first-time membership event for the Johnson Center for the Arts.Wiley White, JCA exhibition coordinator, said the Johnson Center is a non-profit organization and must depend on grants, donations and memberships to remain admission free.“We were excited by the tremendous response to the Season Membership and Kick-Off party,” White said. “We had a good crowd early and late. Johnny Barron and his band are always fantastic; Velma never fails to pleases with the food and we can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to our sponsors, Premier Dodge, Ram and the Troy Rotary Club.” The Johnson Center for the Arts is an outstanding visual arts gallery and much more.“We are a complete arts center,” White said. “The Johnson Center is the premier art gallery in this area. In addition to the visual arts, we have music, dance and theater programs and offer art, music and drama classes for young people at affordable fees.  Our fundraisers help make it possible to continue to offer outstanding arts events, provide quality entertainment and lots of fun.”The next big event for the Johnson Center is Christmas at the Center on December 12 at the JCA and The Studio. Christmas at the Center is the JCA’s largest annual fundraiser.Jennifer Senn, co-chair of the event, said Christmas at the Center features a seated dinner, entertainment, dancing and silent and live auctions. Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits JCA membership drive brings in support for arts Book Nook to reopencenter_img Latest Stories By Jaine Treadwell The Penny Hoarder Issues “Urgent” Alert: 6 Companies… Published 9:43 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2019 “The silent auction will be at the JCA that is beautifully decorated for Christmas,” Senn said. “The center’s nine large Christmas trees, one nearly 20 feet tall, are decorated with ornaments handmade by students in both the county and city schools.”There will be a large number of items of note in the silent auction at the JCA. The live auction at The Studio will feature items including original artwork, beach and mountain rentals and parties. The bidding will be highly competitive but neighbor friendly, Senn said.Multi-level JCA memberships are available throughout the year, individuals through corporate. The benefits of membership increase with the level.For more information or to become Johnson Center  member, visit the JCA at 300 East Walnut Street in downtown Troy or call 334-867-0000.An artists’ reception will be held at the JCA for exhibiting artists Beverly West Leach and Russell Everett from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday. The artists will also give art talks about their work. The public is invited. You Might Like Troy lowers minimum age for utility accounts to 18 Troy residents can now apply for a utility account as soon as 18 years old after a unanimous decision of… read more Next UpWhite said many new members joined the ranks of those who have been members from opening day.“We have a dedicate core membership and a large number of longtime and more recent members who are just as dedicated,” White said. “And, it is very encouraging to have so many young adult members. These younger members offer sustainability to our membership and, therefore, to the future of the Johnson Center.”White expressed appreciation to all who contributed to the success of the membership drive and encourages those who are not members to consider all the Johnson Center has to offer individuals, families and the extended  community. Print Article Sponsored Contentlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *