Menu

The Opioid Epidemic in the News: Findings from an Analysis of Northern California Coverage

As the opioid epidemic worsens, it is critical to understand how the news is shaping people’s understanding of the issue and what can be done about it. In this report, supported by the California Public Health Department, PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group analyzes news coverage from Northern California outlets, provides insights into how the issue is framed and suggestion questions for additional research.

An image for The Opioid Epidemic in the News: Findings from an Analysis of Northern California Coverage

The news in rural Northern California provides a window through which we can glimpse how the public—and policymakers—understand the critical epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose in the region. A new preliminary analysis from PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) found that the news reinforces that the opioid epidemic is severely affecting communities locally and nationally; that the epidemic drives local crime; and that communities are exploring fledgling prevention and recovery efforts.

Unlike previous responses to drug use, opioid addiction is routinely framed in the news as a public health issue as well as a criminal justice issue—but public health advocates and medical practitioners are currently absent from the coverage.

Learn more: Read the report.

As the opioid epidemic worsens, it is critical to understand how the news is shaping people’s understanding of the issue and what can be done about it. In this report, supported by the California Public Health Department, PHI’s BMSG analyzes news coverage from Northern California outlets, provides insights into how the issue is framed, and suggests questions for additional research.

Originally published by Berkeley Media Studies Group


Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.

Donate

Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

Family teaching a kid to bike

Close

Invest in the Future of Public Health

Now, more than ever, we need to invest in health—in the systems that keep us healthy, in the strategies that work, and in tomorrow's leaders. Donate to PHI and help us amplify community power and launch the next generation of public health leaders.

Donate today

Continue to PHI.org