- Disneyland Measles OutbreakPalladino, Erica (Virginia Tech, 2015-05)This media information sheet analyzes print and online coverage of the 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak. The frameworks that the media used to report on the outbreak presented vaccination as the only viable option from preventing the spread of measles. Reporting also failed to mention that the 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak was smaller than U.S. measles outbreaks in 2013 and 2014.
- Vaccination Reporting in Mother JonesOrndorff, Travertine (Virginia Tech, 2015-05)This case study will analyze how Mother Jones’s social and political investments shape the magazine’s reporting on vaccination issues. Mother Jones’s approach to medical issues, such as vaccination, cannot be readily categorized because each case is constructed within the context of the magazine’s established social and political values. This analysis will explain why what appears to be conflicting coverage on vaccination in Mother Jones is really just a distinctive approach to dialogue on vaccination.
- Vaccine Reporting in The New York Times and Time, 1980-2013Buss, Kate (Virginia Tech, 2012-05)Recently, popular media reporting on vaccination issues has demonstrated a clear bias against voluntary non-vaccinators. Media coverage of the Disneyland measles outbreak of winter 2014-15 indicates that the rhetoric used to describe those who do not follow the Center for Disease Control’s vaccination guidelines is becoming more inflammatory. Authors writing for publications like Mother Jones and Salon.com, commonly use phrases like “wacky position” and “quackery” to describe individuals and parents who choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children. This observation gives rise to the question of how voluntary non-vaccinators are represented in long established, reputable media outlets with large readerships. Can a shift to inflammatory vaccine discourse be identified in well respected news sources as it is in more niche publications like Mother Jones and Salon.com? If so, when did this shift occur, and what factors influenced the rise of this style of inflammatory reporting?