Health reporting in The Kathmandu Post: 2013 – 2014

RESEARCH BRIEF

  • Analysis of 185 articles highlighted 7 health themes being reported
  • Overall, reporting relied on description rather than interrogation of healthcare issues
  • Further qualitative research is needed to assess the prevalence of these themes across all English and Nepali language papers and magazines in Nepal. This could be expanded to include broadcast media in Nepal.

What can Nepali media do to encourage better quality health reporting?

  • Provide dedicated space for health related investigative features.
  • Invest in specialist training for journalists: specifically specialist modules on health reporting and interrogating research data and accessing databases of research findings.

7 themes:

  1. Issues with health service delivery: 186 mentions of lack of equipment or facilities, lack of staff, protests against the government by medical staff, and critiques of the government.
  2. Government response or action: 105 mentions of how the government is responding to healthcare issues and use of government spokespeople.
  3. Diseases and conditions: 83 mentions of specific diseases, such as dengue, HIV/AIDS, polio and TB. Mental health and social stigma were among the other issues reported in this theme.
  4. Issues for patients: 39 mentions of access to healthcare, cost of treatment and misinformation.
  5. Public health message or campaign: 38 mentions of public health campaigns and direct public health messages.
  6. International links: 25 mentions of international standards, conferences and MDGs.
  7. Environmental issues: 19 mentions of sanitation, contamination and air pollution.