Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Anthony Ferri, Chair

Second Committee Member

Gregory Borchard

Third Committee Member

Paul J. Traudt

Graduate Faculty Representative

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Number of Pages



This study is a content analysis examining the representation of health information, particularly the leading causes of death, in cover story headlines of one year of the top women's health and fitness magazines: Prevention , Shape , Fitness , Self , Health and Women's Health. The study is grounded in social responsibility theory, a normative media theory. The findings show that women's health and fitness magazines' cover story headlines predominately discuss diet and exercise for weight loss, rather than the leading causes of death facing women. This under representation of actual societal health concerns can limit the vast readerships' health knowledge and awareness, and therefore their ability to understand their risks and take proper precautions to protect themselves.


Journalism; Mass media in health education; Public health; Women and journalism; Women's mass media; Women's periodicals


Communication | Gender and Sexuality | Health Communication | Immune System Diseases | Journalism Studies | Virus Diseases




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