Writing about health in a women’s magazine: Journalists’ discursive constructions of health, agency and science

Jana Declercq*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    1 Citaat (Scopus)


    This article examines women’s magazine journalists’ discourses and ideologies of health, agency and science, and how these are shaped by journalists’ attitudes to health, and views on the magazine and readership. Health coverage has grown, and impacts behaviour, governmental policy and societal notions of health. Consequently, it is essential to understand how journalists construct notions of health, and how these notions feed into production processes. To examine the journalists’ discourses and ideologies on health, eight research interviews were analysed. The analysis shows that journalists construct health as a subjective, dynamic experience of feeling well, in which patients’ individual agency is central. This is consolidated by their view on readers as intelligent and independent, who read health content to become more well-informed. This neo-liberal view on health and agency leads to perspectives in which scientific expertise as no longer seen the only source of expertise to self-manage health, but as part of a bigger information landscape which includes pseudo-scientific information. This, in turn, is consolidated by ideas on openminded journalism: good journalists are non-biased, consider all expertise, and let intelligent readers decide what is relevant knowledge.
    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)95-116
    Aantal pagina's22
    TijdschriftThe Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies
    Nummer van het tijdschrift1
    Vroegere onlinedatum2020
    StatusPublished - apr-2021

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