The research used interviews and questionnaires as the most effective methods to generate data on this topic (Creswell, 2003). Interviews involved questions to the respondents who were in the media industry as well as the health sector. Random sampling was in use to determine the representative’s sample from the broad population. Quantitative and qualitative analysis (Creswell, 2003) was of the essence in analyzing data in the last stage of the research to represent the research findings on influence of media on health promotion (Creswell, 2003). This research also uses content analysis as a methodology for studying media content regarding its influence on health promotion. There is a lot of material written by several scholars on the influence of the media on health promotion, and the method is ideal to verify the content and base an argument from deep analysis (Klaus, 2004). Content analysis is "the study of human communications, for instance paintings, books, websites, and laws." It will also be necessary in analyzing recorded transcripts from the interviews that with feature several participants in this study. The assumption is this methodology is that phrases and words mentioned most in the literature involved often reflect the most salient concerns in a respective communication. The methodology will involve a review of website content, books and journal articles in providing an analysis of the issue at hand and deriving extensive information on the issues of the influence of the media in health promotion (Klaus, 2004).
Agenda Setting Theory is a media theory that creates public awareness regarding salient issues. The theory describes a powerful influence of the media in informing the audience of the important issues. The theory also depicts the power of media in the presentation of images to the public (Donovan, 1993). In agenda setting, the media do not reflect the reality because they filter as well as shape it. In the promotion of health, the theory is applicable is setting the focus on specific agenda that the media tackles in the event of passing health promotion messages (McClelland, 1997). In McCombs and Shaw research on health promotional campaigns in 2000, they generalized that the mass media had a remarkable influence on the way the public handled health matters after the key health issues were tackled in the campaigns (French, 2004).
Priming Theory utilizes the media in offering a prior context to the audience that will be of use in interpreting subsequent communication. This enhances enormous effects of media on the public domain (Wills, 2000). In priming, the concept provides the public with standards of reference. This has been in use mostly in health promotion campaigns enhancing success if the media in applying issues of health campaign. The United States used this approach in the year 2002 in the cigarette campaigns to promote its population health (French, 2004).
Framing Theory is another excellent approach that the media uses in handling issues to do with promoting health issues. Framing as a media communication quality leads people to accept meaning over another (Wills, 2000). This is through selecting the health topics and making sure the approach draws the public attention to the respective topics, then the media decides what to instill in people. Framing relates with agenda setting because they both bring up topics when certain news items occur (McClelland, 1997). However, framing makes an expansion of its context by putting principal focus on the importance of the issues at hand. The relevance of the approach to health promotion involves media usage when certain health problems arise for instance outbreaks. The recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti has hit the media with relevant directives aired through the television and printed media for Haitians to have the knowledge on safety precautions (Hastings, 1994).
Cultivation theory also explains the influence of the media in health promotion. The theory explains that mass media, mostly the television, engages in cultivating attitudes as well as values that are already presents in a particular culture by propagating and maintaining the respective values amongst a certain culture, therefore, binding it together (French, 2004). The assumption behind this theory is that, viewers or people watching television have a likelihood of being influenced by the television programs than people who do not. In the United States, an advert in the television promoting washing of hands was lately ranked as the most influential advert in health promotion among the youths and immensely influential in promoting health practices (Donovan, 1993).
The use of the media in health promotion has along history in the global world. In the United States, a subsequent research on this issue indicated that an earlier antismoking doctrine in advertisements was a considerable influence in the reported decline, in cigarette consumption, by at least 5% in the year 2002 (Health Development Agency, 2004). The potential mass media effectiveness of anti-smoking campaigns to prevent smoking has now established strongly basing on well-evaluated research as well as demonstration projects in Minnesota and Vermont (Donovan, 1993). These field experiments are an indication that shows community and school-based media campaigns reduce the initiation of smoking behaviors in adolescents. Under the current favorable circumstances initiated by the media, the prevalence of smoking in adolescents reduced by an approximated 40%. This indicates that the media still hold a position in the global society in health promotion (Wills, 2000).
Despite the media successes in promoting health issues, the media campaigns have experienced problems in implementation globally. An earlier case in 1992 indicates that the media faces strange and stringent problems in implementation to handle health issues. Governor Wilson is famous for his suspension of California's media campaign when he diverted the media funding for other purposes (Donovan, 1993). The campaign only resumed under the mercies of a lawsuit that succeeded brought forward by the American Lung Association. More recently, the administration also censored some prominent antismoking campaign commercials pulling three anti-tobacco advertisements from use and weakening other commercials (Hastings, 1994). Basing on the report, the media plays a crucial role in promotion of health but receives considerable challenges in the governance of respective countries. The running of the media with its policies and laws governing it act as a hitch in its effectiveness in health promotion (French, 2004).