Berkeley Media Studies Group
Berkeley Media Studies Group works with community groups, journalists and public health professionals to use the power of the media to advance healthy public policy. To do this, BMSG conducts research to understand how news, entertainment and advertising portray health and social issues. Through media advocacy training and consultation, BMSG helps advocates harness lessons from that research and develop the skills they need to become stronger voices in policy debate and illuminate the need for improving the places where all people live, learn, work and play.
Analysis of Child Sexual Abuse in News Coverage
BMSG analyzed U.S. newspaper coverage of childhood sexual assault to provide the Ms. Foundation for Women and its partners a more thorough understanding of how journalists cover and frame the issue. This provides a framework for helping sexual assault prevention advocates decide how they can reshape the debate to focus on prevention.
Attorney General Interventions to Limit Unfair and Deceptive Digital Food Marketing to Children
The Berkeley Media Studies Group is working with the Public Health Advocacy Institute to: 1) investigate how food and beverage marketers use digital, especially mobile, media to target children; 2) analyze the implications of these marketing practices; 3) contribute to the analysis of how state attorneys general can use these campaigns; and 4) assist with publication of scholarly and policy documents.
Building Capacity to Make the Case for Healthier Beverage Environments
The overall goal of this project is to increase public health advocates' capacity to influence public debate and public policy on a critical aspect of the food and fitness environment: the beverage environment. BMSG is working with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and others in California to help advocates around the state build their capacity to make the case for healthier beverage environments.
Communicating for Change Trainings 2012-2013
The Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) will deliver 40 sessions of the Communicating for Change training curriculum to The California Endowment's grantees across California. Since BMSG first developed the program, hundreds of TCE grantees have learned concrete skills to engage the media strategically to advance their community health policy goals.
Communication Technical Assistance and Training
BMSG will assist FHI 360 with providing technical assistance and training to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Community Health grantees in the areas of media strategies, messaging and other communication skills for community engagement.
Communities Creating Healthy Environments
Berkeley Media Studies Group will focus on documenting, analyzing and helping local groups act on the latest marketing maneuvers from the food and beverage industry targeting children, youth and communities of color for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Communities Creating Healthy Environments program.
Communities Putting Prevention to Work: Messaging and Spokesperson Training
BMSG is part of ICF Macro's Resource Center, providing support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative. BMSG provides training workshops, individualized technical assistance, tools and individual community consultation on messaging, and spokesperson training for CDC grantees working to prevent obesity and promote tobacco control.
Consultation to PolicyLink for the Convergence Partnership
BMSG is providing consultation on framing and strategic communications for the Convergence Partnership, a collaboration of funders committed to supporting multifield, equity-focused efforts to improve communities so everyone can be healthy. PolicyLink, the Partnership program director, helps to develop strategy and advance the Partnership's vision and works with Prevention Institute to provide policy research and analysis.
Content Analysis of News Coverage of the Jerry Sandusky Child Sexual Assault Allegations
BMSG has conducted a content analysis of the news coverage surrounding allegations that Jerry Sandusky, a long-time coach at Pennsylvania State University, sexually abused boys. Through a previous project, BMSG analyzed typical news coverage of child sexual abuse and produced recommendations for journalists and prevention advocates. BMSG’s analysis compares the Sandusky coverage to prior news coverage of child sexual abuse.
Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause Marketing by the Soda Industry
With support from the Healthy Eating Research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, BMSG examined the marketing tactics from soda companies and assessed their campaigns in light of how the tobacco industry employed similar strategies to thwart regulation, cultivate a positive business climate and gain public support.
Customized Strategic Communications Trainings at the Canadian Science Writers' Association Meeting
The Berkeley Media Studies Group will collaborate with the University of Ottawa in designing and delivering customized strategic communications trainings for population and public health researchers and science reporters with an interest in health who will be attending the 2013 Canadian Science Writers' Association Meeting.
Evaluating the Public Debate Over Fast-Food Zoning Ordinances
This project will examine the extent, and nature, of the public debate surrounding efforts to pass fast-food zoning policies. Studying news depictions of fast-food zoning ordinance campaigns will help researchers, advocates and policymakers who want to pursue similar measures understand —and better influence—the debates they are about to enter.
Food Marketing in the News and on the Web: A Content Analysis of Opinion Pages, the Trade Press and Websites Designed for Children
BMSG, through this sub-award with Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, analyzed the content of news and websites for breakfast cereal, fast food, and sugary beverage targeting children. BMSG studied one category each year to assess the digital techniques food and beverage marketers use to keep children interacting with their brands.
Food Marketing to Children Workgroup
BMSG and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are convening and coordinating the Food Marketing Workgroup, a network of more than 120 organizations and academic experts in the U.S. who are concerned about the proliferation of marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages that targets children and adolescents.
Food Marketing Workgroup 2013
The Berkeley Media Studies Group coordinates the Food Marketing Workgroup, a network of more than 130 organizations and academic experts that works with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantees and the American Heart Association to reverse childhood obesity by focusing its advocacy on competitive foods, sugar-sweetened beverages and food marketing.
Framing Primary Prevention of Intimate Partner Violence
BMSG worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation's Delta PREP grantees to help coalitions understand challenges in current news coverage of violence; identify opportunities to create news around primary prevention of domestic violence; and frame intimate partner violence to emphasize prevention and promote policy solutions.
Health in All Policies Toolkit
BMSG is working with the California Department of Public Health to review and refine its messages supporting "health in all policies," an approach that considers how all of our public policymaking decisions impact health. BMSG is writing a chapter on talking about health in all policies for a toolkit the Department of Public Health is developing to help advocates make the case for why health in all policies helps protect physical and fiscal health, advance community engagement, and build relationships across government sectors.
Healthy Youth, Healthy Region Spokesperson Training
BMSG worked with the Sierra Health Foundation to amplify the effects of the Healthy Youth, Healthy Region report that the Foundation commissioned from the University of California at Davis' Center for Regional Change. BMSG advised the Foundation on the dissemination and media strategy for the report release and preparing Foundation spokespeople, including youth, to talk with reporters, policy makers and other civic leaders.
Informing Partners in the Communities Creating Health Environments Program of Unhealthy Practices of the Food-Marketing Industry
BMSG serves on The Praxis Project’s technical assistance team for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments program to ensure that all of its partners are: 1) aware of the latest marketing practices of the food industry, particularly in communities of color; and 2) equipped to challenge practices that interfere with establishing healthy environments for children and adolescents.
Media Advocacy for Healthier School and Neighborhood Environments
This project expands the capacity of advocates and youth journalists to tell effective stories about the importance of healthier school and neighborhood environments in California. The Berkeley Media Studies Group will assist with message development and framing, media advocacy training, and creation of an interactive online space for exchanging digital marketing information about food and beverages, and will track junk food marketing trends to inform policy making.
Personal Responsibility Rhetoric on Tobacco- and Obesity-Related Litigation, Legislation and News Coverage
BMSG is collaborating with the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University Law School to analyze arguments over who is responsible for causing, and remedying, two of the most serious public health crises in recent history: tobacco and obesity. BMSG and PHAI are examining personal responsibility arguments in litigation, legislation, and in news coverage during major tobacco and obesity events of the past 50 years.
Strategic Consultation to Communities Creating Healthy Environments Program
BMSG works with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Communities Creating Healthy Environments program to see that all of its partners are: 1) aware of the latest food industry marketing practices and 2) equipped to challenge those practices if they interfere with establishing healthy environments.
Talking About Prevention in Minnesota
To help Minnesota Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) grantees and Community Health Boards (CHBs) understand how their most important issues—nutrition, physical activity, alcohol and tobacco—are framed in the media, BMSG will analyze news coverage on these issues, recommend how best to frame prevention in the news context, train SHIP grantees to talk about prevention more effectively, and then reexamine whether SHIP and CHBs' key messages about prevention are included in news coverage.
The Food Marketing Workgroup
BMSG and the Center for Science in the Public Interest continue convening and coordinating the Food Marketing Workgroup, a network of more than 120 organizations and academic experts in the U.S. working together to reduce the marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages to children and youth.
Uncovering the Roots of Health Inequity: Lessons for Health Departments
BMSG is preparing a series of reports for the National Association of City and County Health Officials describing health inequities, the non-biological, and entirely preventable, systemic forces involved in shaping health. The series, part of a project with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Injury Prevention and Control, examines the social justice roots of public health's history for clues on how getting back to those roots can help health departments work more effectively.