What is role of digital mass media in health?

Editor: John Ajayi, B.Sc, MBA
Medical review: Moyo Adeyemi, M.B., B.S., FRCPC
Science Editor: Sunday O. Ajayi, Ph.D
A surgical procedure in progress. Pic credit: Piron Guillaume/Unsplash.com

The internet has enabled people to gain instant access to any health information they need. The increasing reliance on the internet means that digital mass media will play an increasingly important role in public health in the 21st century.

As more patients seek information on the World Wide Web, digital mass media will come under more intense scrutiny. Medical professionals will raise questions about the quality of health information provided by online media.

Due to ease of access to information in the internet age, patients will also ask questions about professional health advice and medical research conclusions.

Consequently, the mass media and journalists will bear a greater burden of responsibility to offer timely and accurate information so that patients make informed decisions about their health.

What is the role of health journalists?

The primary role of health journalists is to communicate medical information and related topics to the public. In the internet age, health journalism has largely transitioned from print to digital media.

Online journalists report on news, public health programs, policy, and medical research breakthroughs. They must offer accurate, timely, and easy-to-understand information to their audience. They must be able to identify authoritative sources of information.

Reporters must also have the ability to express complex and technical topics in simple terms that a non-technical audience can understand.

Through their reporting, journalists play a vital role in raising awareness. Their reporting shapes public attitudes and opinions about public programs, policies, services, and research.

Digital Media will play an increasingly important role in medical service delivery as more patients seek information online before seeing their doctors.

How well journalists do their work will impact the quality of the health care that patients get.

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