The Report of a Comparative Analysis of Nutrition Science Coverage by Popular Indian Daily Newspapers

This study assesses the coverage of nutrition related topics by leading English and Telugu language
newspapers in India for six months and comparatively analyzes number of articles, visuals and priority
in space allocation. News media over or under emphasize certain aspects of science topics for a
variety of reasons, such as competition to attract readers and also to protect commercial interests.
Nutrition reports were classified into 16 sub-topics based on the commonness of their content
including natural foods, obesity, fruits and vegetables, animal food and beverages. English dailies
gave more coverage on obesity, beverages, chocolates, whereas Telugu dailies confined mostly to
the traditional foods, promoting consumption of natural foods. The results revealed that the English
dailies published more reports in editorial pages, front pages and as box items to grab readers’
attention significantly (P<0.01) than Telugu dailies. The descriptive analysis method has been used as
parameters for grading the articles. Reliability of agreement between multiple-raters was analyzed by
applying Cohen’s kappa test. Few reports on nutrition found to be relied on unauthentic source of
information. Two English dailies were observed as over-emphasized few research findings. To avoid
publishing of under or over-emphasis of nutrition related topics in print media, there is a need for
synergetic efforts between journalists and scientists in the field of diet and nutrition sciences.

Author(s) Details

Dr. Mekam Maheshwar
Division of Extension and Training, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, AP, India.

Dr. Raghunatha D. Rao
Division of Extension and Training, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, AP, India.

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