An Analysis of Trends in Reports on Alternative Medicine in General Dailies
OBJECTIVE: This study analyze the standpoint of newspapers toward alternative medicine. METHODS: Through the content analysis of the articles selected by Korean Integrated News Database System(KINDS). With news items about alternative medicine in nine general dailies for six years between 1997 and 2002, this study was conducted to grasp the trend of the reports and provide investigation data to the alternative medicine communication. RESULTS: As social concerns about health drastically increase, many types of health information and common senses in medicine are recently pouring out through various media. Newspapers and TV are competitively presenting items and programs about health every day. Now anyone can approach information and common senses in medicine with ease if he or she wants. The problem is that reports and programs about health pouring out through each medium contain a great amount of wrong information that can have a bad influence on national health. If wrong information is delivered to the people, or medical consumers, through the mass media, they can suffer from very serious side-effects and aftereffects. If patients or caregivers misled by false information on health commit an error in judgement, they can make their disease worse or miss the proper moment for treatment and consequently meet an irrevocable misfortune. For this reason, they must be careful in dealing with information on health. CONCLUSION: In consideration of results, many type of health information are expected to grow in the future. Therefore it is important for information providers to maintain a sound policy which is scientific and objective in order to protect information consumers.
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