Vaccinations protect from nasty diseases, but the anti-immunisation voice is getting louder. What should parents do about immunising their kids? What are the facts? How can parents make informed decisions?
The cold hard facts’ immunisation and vaccine preventable diseases in Australia's newsprint media 1993–1998
The article reviews positive coverage of immunisation through the use of over four and a half years of Australian newsprint media. The report focuses on three main topics. The first topic is the problem of vaccine preventable diseases and low immunisation rates. The second topic outlines some notions of who is responsible for these low rates and the last topic are the solutions needed to resolve these issues. The threat of diseases, which are vaccine preventable, is portrayed through the use of negative words such as ‘alarming’, grave and ‘epidemic’. Some personal horror stories outlining the risk of not vaccinating your child are also used, they leave the impression that ‘this could be your child’ is you forgo immunisation. The article continues by discussing how low immunisation rates are being blamed upon parents for not allowing their child to be immunised, to a lack of government coordination is setting up the required facilities or allocating resources correctly. It also contains pleas from authority figures for parents to immunise their children. Immunisation is promoted as a modern day phenomenon, with health professionals viewed as trailblazers in a fight against killer diseases with urges to immunise being conveyed through firm directives.
The main points in the article stem around the media portrayal of immunization and the core values to which such messages appeal to media promoters that allow them to enhance their preferred messages and reframe those messages which are considered opposed to the goals of public health promotion. The article shows a bias against the media....