De-Legitimising Complementary Medicine: Framings of the Friends of Science in Medicine-CAM Debate in Australian Media Reports
Lewis, M (2019), 'De-legitimising complementary medicine: Framings of the FSM-CAM debate in Australian news reports', Sociology of Health & Illness, 41(3), 2019.
52 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2019 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019
Date Written: November 9, 2018
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has developed into a complex and formidable commercial, sociocultural and political force in Australia, and given its influence, it is a relevant subject for scholars, health practitioners, health communicators, journalists, policy-makers, and consumers of health care products and services. This research will consider a relative newcomer to the claims-making space about CAM in the Australian health media-scape; the Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), an activist group of medical practitioners, researchers, and scientists, founded in late 2011. Using content analysis supported by NVivo, I searched for articles specifically referring to FSM and measured the patterns and frequencies of media frames, intonation and sources that are featured in Australian mainstream news reports between December 2011 and April 2017. The negative headlining and intonation of reports predominated, along with framing CAM as part of a lucrative, undisciplined and unethical industry as well as an illegitimate health care approach, more broadly. The findings offer insight into how journalists respond, replicate, or reconstruct the framings that are provided by an influential and elite group of medical practitioners and scientists, and readdresses issues surrounding the need for more critical health reporting in Australia.
Keywords: sociology of health, media framing, health reporting, media communication, complementary and alternative medicine
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