Health Messages through media

Essay by chris6878 October 2008

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IntroductionThe premise for the following discussion on the presentation of health messages by the entertainment media will be the analysis of several episodes of the television series Sex and the City, originally developed for and aired on Home Box Office (HBO). In one of the episodes, Samantha, one of the main characters of the series, is diagnosed with breast cancer. The story is followed through several episodes tracking her vicissitudes through finding a physician, starting treatment and living through the recovery.

The purposeful choice of a non-medically oriented series or film for this discussion was dictated by two main reasons. First, this particular series is very strongly geared to a female audience and specifically to professionals, career-oriented and independent females. Therefore the program seems to be an appropriate platform to introduce and reveal messages about breast cancer, as a prominent health concern for females. Second, because the program is in its core non-medical, it does allow any health message to emphasize the pervasiveness and insidious nature of disease, where as in this case, even successful New Yorker females are not immune to the ailments suffered by other human beings.

The description of the program will focus on how the message was delivered and how the issue or issues surrounding the problem were presented to the audience. This will include an analysis of the positive and negative of the message content and/or its delivery through the program. The ensuing discussion will be directed to exploring the pros and cons of use of entertainment media as platforms for delivery of health messages.

Program DescriptionThe Premises of the ProgramAs succinctly mentioned above, the television series Sex and the City revolves around the lives and tribulations of four single, professional, white females in Manhattan. Although, as the title of the series implies, most...