Health risks and advice in online news articles

    Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


    In this presentation, our aim is to study how health risks are constructed in online news articles. Health news is increasingly one of the usual ways of getting fact-based knowledge and information on illnesses and how to take care oneself. Online news include various sections devoted to lifestyle health news that can include clickbait-type of news that draw the attention of readers as well as science-based health news. Stories on medical breakthroughs, illness and recoveries are also familiar from television documents and newspaper headlines (Lupton 2012).

    We understand ‘health risk’ as a discursive construction in the everyday life of ordinary persons (Jones 2013: 4-5). More specifically, we will focus on two particular topics and what kind of threat they impose. First, we focus on articles on cancer that is a disease that can threat anybody and second, we examine articles on parenting. This latter type of articles pose a different kind of risk: if you do not perform as a “good parent” in a responsible way in the society, the psychological health risks can affect your children. The presentations of health risk are accompanied with emotions and affect that demand life choices and measures of self-control from individuals. We also study what kind of advice or solutions are proposed in order to avoid risks (cf. Locher 2006).

    Our data comes from national and tabloid newspapers in three European countries, Finland, Denmark, and Great Britain during one month in 2016. We will use mediated discourse analysis and sociopragmatic approach to the news discourse data.


    Jones, Rodney, 2013. Health and Risk Communication: An Applied Linguistic Perspective. Routledge, London.
    Locher, Miriam A., 2006. Advice Online: Advice-giving in an American Internet Health Column. John Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia.
    Lupton, Deborah, 2012. Medicine as Culture: Illness, Disease and the Body. Sage, London.
    Publikationsdato13. dec. 2018
    StatusUdgivet - 13. dec. 2018
    BegivenhedWhat's (the) News?: Values, viruses and vectors of newsworthiness - Bruxelles, Belgien
    Varighed: 13. dec. 201814. dec. 2018


    KonferenceWhat's (the) News?


    • discourse analysis; risk discourse; advice; healt news