Medical Researchers and the Media:  Attitudes Toward Public Dissemination of Research

Michael S. Wilkes, MD, PhD; Richard L. Kravitz, MD, MSPH
JAMA. 1992;268(8):999-1003. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490080073027.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To study the experience of recently published authors with the news media.

Design.  —A self-administered questionnaire.

Participants.  —All first authors of scientific articles published in JAMA and The New England Journal of Medicine during a 6-month period. Of 397 surveyed, 92% responded.

Main Outcome Measures.  —Researchers were asked about (1) their experience with the news media, (2) their attitudes toward the dissemination of health-related research to the general public, and (3) their attitudes toward the lay press.

Results.  —Of respondents, 65% stated that their research was discussed in the lay press, and 60% reported that they were directly contacted by the press. Researchers had positive attitudes toward the press; 86% reported that news reports based on their research were accurate and 44% felt that media coverage would help them achieve their overall professional goals. Positive aspects of media coverage most frequently endorsed were that (1) it improves the image of the profession, (2) it informs the professional community of their research, and (3) it allows the public to understand the topic better. Negative aspects of media coverage were (1)it gives the impression that the researcher is seeking publicity, (2) it creates jealousy among colleagues, and (3) it takes too much time. Researchers were not eager to change the existing dissemination process, yet they endorsed the need for uniform standards concerning relations with the press.

Conclusions.  —The majority of first authors in two leading medical journals reported substantial media coverage of their research, expressed generally positive sentiments about the press coverage of their work, and expressed a need for consensus on interactions involving the press.(JAMA. 1992;268:999-1003)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.