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Soda tax debates: News coverage of ballot measures in Richmond and El Monte, California, 2012

2013 | Download

In 2012, two California cities asked voters to consider taxing soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages. The measures failed, but advocates can learn a lot from how the news media covered the issue. In this preliminary report, PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group discusses what arguments appeared in the news, how reporters portrayed the need for the policies, how government and the soda industry were characterized, and what this means going forward.


Pamela Mejia, MPH, MS; Laura Nixon, MPH; Rebecca Womack; Andrew Cheyne, CPhil, Lori Dorfman

Produced through PHI's:

Berkeley Media Studies Group