Framing Cancer for Online News: Implications for Popular Perceptions of Cancer

Julius M. Riles, Angeline Sangalang, Ryan J. Hurley, David Tewksbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


News frames can influence how people think about disease. In a pair of studies, we demonstrate how contemporary news outlets frame cancer and how exposure to common frames can affect news audiences' perceptions of those who suffer from cancer. First, we examine the current landscape of frame usage in online cancer news, employing frames ideally suited to the depiction of health and disease. We compare our results with previously published research in this news domain. Second, we employ these frames in a multimessage experiment to assess the influence of cancer news framing on individuals' perceptions about cancer, cancer interventions, and those with cancer. We conclude with a discussion of implications for framing research and health news production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1018-1040
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Cancer
  • Content Analysis
  • Experiment
  • Framing
  • Health
  • Online News

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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