The Scoop on Health: How Native American Newspapers Frame and Report Health News

Sherice Gearhart, Teresa Trumbly-Lamsam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The health status of Native Americans is known to be lower than that of other Americans. One way to get relevant health information to this population is through Native-produced media. Tribal newspapers are the most popular form of Native media, consumed more often than their mainstream counterparts. As such, these community-based newspapers are meaningful tools for relevant health information gathering. This study content analyzes a census of health-related newspaper articles (N = 644) over a 1-year period from 20 Tribal newspapers across 10 regions designated by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Findings profile the nature of health topics reported in Native news publications. Health news stories were shown to use episodic frames significantly more than thematic frames. Inclusion of supplementary information (e.g., causes/symptoms, treatment, and prevention) and inclusion of mobilizing information (i.e., provides readers resources for further action) were both shown to significantly differ by health topic. Results provide an important baseline understanding of how health news is reported in Native news publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-702
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2017

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