February 20, 2018 | Katherine Schaff, Berkeley Media Studies Group
Current media coverage has effectively raised the visibility of opioid use, and some news stories are shifting from covering it as a criminal justice issue to treating it as a public health issue. That's important, but it won't address underlying equity issues—or solutions. If we want to see news about equity issues related to opioid use, we must explicitly raise them.
At a time when we have never had more information and clarity about the root causes of health inequities, public health's role in elevating this information is vital. Public health advocates can leverage the current media spotlight to communicate about opioid use—and, ultimately, make change—using a racial and health equity lens.
But if more public health professionals were talking about this issue in the news, what would we want them to say? And what are some of the steps that public health professionals can take to get there? A new blog from PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) provides five steps for getting started. more