Television news programs are becoming significant source of health information. This study aims at investigating the current state of health coverage of the prime time news program in Korea. Data were collected from KBS 9 0'clock news in the period of thirteen months. from December 1. 1998. to November 1. 1999. The data were analyzed using content analysis method. and the reliability degree was 99.7% according to the Holsti's inter-coder reliability test. The current research classified 489 health related news items into 49 sub-categories and five health categories through content analysis. Some of the basic results of this study are as follows. 1. The frequency according to health category, health maintenance promotion(57.3%) topped followed by disease prevention(23.2%), disease treatment(14.9%), life ethics(4.0%), and growth development(0.6%). 2. According to human developmental age. for the most part(80.1 %) is applicable to the entire range of human developmental age. 3. Health maintennance promotion category take top of health category by the rate of 57.3% and contain 20 sub-categories. 4. News items in the life ethics category, which had six sub-categories. occupied only four percent of the total health related news. News in the growth development category included two sub categories and occupied 0.6% of the total news items. 5. In disease prevention and disease treatment category, infectious disease(33.2%) showed the highest percentage according to the WHO's international disease classification system. Disease prevention occupied 23.2% and contained eleven sub-categories while disease treatment occupied 14.9% and included ten sub-categories. Television news coverage on health showed a wide variety of selection in terms that they are reporting various issues. This study, however, found that some news items were confusing and failing in presenting scientific evidences. It is suggested that the television coverage on health could be beneficial to most of viewers in receiving important health information and guidelines, only if they are utilizing their own sound discretion in consuming those news.
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