Title

Mother knows breast: A content analysis of breastfeeding in television network news

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Health Communication

Volume

31

Issue

7

First Page

884

Last Page

891

Abstract

Major health organizations worldwide have touted the benefits of breastfeeding and engaged in campaigns to increase rates of practice. This study content analyzes network television news transcripts (N = 475) to investigate the coverage of breastfeeding over a 15-year time period (1999–2013) across three networks (ABC, NBC, CBS). Results revealed that although television news reports on breastfeeding have steadily increased, topics have become more trivial. Reports were also found to heavily rely on episodic frames and primarily appear in morning news programs. Such coverage may have the ability to diminish the importance breastfeeding has on society and to deter policy advancement. Theoretical and practical implications for campaign development and promotion are discussed.