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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1980;13(1): 53-66.
An Analysis on Contents of Health- Concerned Editorials in Korean Newspapers.
Byoung Yik Kim
ABSTRACT
The editorials the leading newspapers may reflect as well as help formulate the public opinions to a significant degree. Bearing this in mind, this study was carried out to provide information useful in formulating such public health policies that could practically meet the social interests and demands in health appearing in the editorials of the newspapers. This analysis covered the editorials of 5 leading newspapers such as Donga Iibo, Chungang Ilbo, Kankook Iibo, Chosen Ilbo and Seoul Shinmoon for about 10 years from Jan. 1st, 1970 through Oct. 31th, 1979. The major findings are as follows : 1. The total number of health-concerned editorials in the five daily papers for the period was 1,768 or occupied 6.4% of the total editorials of the same sources. The increasing trend of frequency of the health-concerned editorials since 1976 indicates the increment of social interests and demands in health. Analysing the contents, environmental pollution received the greatest attention in those editorials, which was followed by medical affairs, environmental, and disease control in order in terms of frequency of appearance. However, there was a tendency that the interests in the environmental pollution, medical affairs and social welfare tended to increase year by year, whereas those in environmental hygiene and disease control comparatively decreased. 2. Motives of dealing with the health-concerned editorials were provided by announcement of the governmental policies and implementation for 25.6% and by out-breaks of the relevant event for 23.9%. This tendency coincides with the general characteristics of the editorials that reflect the timely issues. Closely analysing, however, the fact that the motive engendered by the out- breaks of the relevant events or by the season concerned comparatively tended to decrease as years pass by, indicates that the editorials tend more to seek the future-oriented demands in health rather than the current issue-oriented. 3. The editorials appeared to be more concerned with the governmental policies. 95.7% of all the editorials analysed were addressed to the government. This signifies the role of government in the field of public health and medical affairs. Their attitudes toward health-related policies of the government were much more negative than the other editorials that were addressed to the government in other fields. This suggests that the governmental interests in health were neither sufficient nor fair. 4. What the editorials most stressed were ; (1) increment of governmental interests in health, (2) improvement of the governmental health administration, (3) enriching the basic statistics, and (4) development of various technologies pertinent to health affairs and disease control, and so forth. However, must of their suggestions were not concrete but rather abstract and conceptual. 5. The editorials also expressed strong interests in research are. The areas of the needed research most suggested by items are ; (1) development of effective health care delivery system, (2) establishment of more practical system if calculating medical cost, (3) implementation of effective policies to control degenerative diseases, (4) division of medical care services and pharmaceutical services systems, (5) effective ways to prevent Co poisoning accidents, (6) changing status of environmental pollution and its effects upon health, and (70 status of occupational disease, and so forth. 6. There were some editorials-not small in quantity-that have risk to mislead the public opinions as well as the health policies due to lack of professional knowledge of the writes. It is desirable to establish some kind of mechanism that screens the erroneous contents of the editorials to help prevent misleading opinions.
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