Generating news media interest in tobacco control; Challenges in an advanced policy environment

Ross MacKenzie, Simon Chapman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine the efficacy of using media releases for tobacco control advocacy in Australia's advanced policy environment. Methods: Between February and August 2010, news releases that summarised either newly published but unpublicised research findings, or local developments in tobacco control, were sent to NSW media outlets. Reports arising from the releases were tracked using commercial services Media Monitors and Factiva, as well as Google and Google News. Other tobacco control related news items during the same period were also tracked and recorded. Results: Twenty-one news releases generated 93 news items across all news media, with a quarter of these related to a story of porcine haemoglobin in cigarette filters. By comparison, 'live' policy issues (especially plain packaging and a significant tobacco tax increase) covered in this period attracted 1,033 news stories in the Australian media. Press releases describing recently published, but underpublicised research were issued in weeks where no major competing tobacco control news occurred. Results of this project indicate that in environments with advanced tobacco policy, media opportunities related to tobacco control advocacy are limited, as many objectives have been achieved. Conclusion: The media can still play a key advocacy role in such environments, and advocates need to be particularly vigilant for opportunities that do arise. The paper also highlights the increasingly important role of internet-based media, including opportunities presented by social media for tobacco control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Generating news media interest in tobacco control; Challenges in an advanced policy environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this