There is nothing the media loves better than a good health scare story — MMR, SARS, vCJD, the list goes on and on. The first real biggie in my memory was AIDS. There were acres of newsprint and countless hours of tv predicting the demise of mankind (sorry personkind ), and has it happened? No.
But the coverage can have a major impact on people’s behaviour. During the above AIDS coverage (it wasn’t HIV then) I happened to be spending a week at the Department of Health’s press office. A minister had been cornered into saying (by the Sun, I think) that he would have no qualms in drinking from a cup that someone with AIDS had drunk from. Read more ›››