Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Journalists say context is key when covering health challenges in Native American communities

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that journalists serving Native American communities could offer a promising channel for communicating health news and solutions. When Native American communities face alarming health statistics, these journalists find that placing the information into appropriate cultural and historical contexts can help. The study also suggests that journalists serving non-Native cultures might provide more accurate representations of American Indian health challenges if they too include a holistic view.

“The journalists we interviewed for this study—who cover these communities regularly—suggested that health choices among Native Americans or Alaska Natives are affected by historical context,” said Rokeshia Renné Ashley, a recent doctoral graduate from the School of Journalism. “For example, if a person develops diabetes because they eat processed food that could be seen as a result of his or her individual choices. However, the behavior might be viewed differently if people understand the history of indigenous foods being replaced by a Western diet. Health journalists serving Native American communities are emphasizing how their audiences face a different health landscape than the majority of the country’s population.”


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/10/2024 21:09