Trust Me, I’m A Journalist: Trust In The Media Promotes Health

By | January 26, 2009

Trust Me, I'm A Journalist: Trust In The Media Promotes Health

Trust in the media promotes health. A study of people from 29 Asian countries has shown that individuals with high levels of trust in the mass media tend to be healthier.

A team of researchers led by Yasuharu Tokuda from St. Luke’s International Hospital and Takashi Inoguchi from Chuo University, both in Tokyo, used data from a survey of 39,000 people to investigate the relationships between trust and self-reported health. Tokuda said, “This study is the first to analyze this relationship. Our findings suggest that mass media programs can contribute towards better health, especially among those people who have trust in mass media. The media need to recognize the importance of their important social role in terms of public health”.

Slightly over 50% of the Asian participants reported that they ‘trust a lot’ or ‘trust to a degree’ in mass media. The group that reported being healthiest were young, married, high-income, and highly-educated women with a high trust in interpersonal relations as well as in the healthcare system and mass media. People in Brunei reported the highest levels of health, while those in Turkmenistan had the lowest opinion of their own wellbeing. People in the Maldives reported the highest level of trust in mass media while Hong Kong residents were the most cynical.

According to Tokuda, “One potential pathway from high trust in mass media to better health is increased acceptance of health-related messages and the resultant dissemination of good behavior related to health throughout communities”.

via Trust Me, I’m A Journalist: Trust In The Media Promotes Health.

Try assuming the people in the survey are not crazy.  In that case, isn’t this the same as saying “in areas where industry is not over polluting and hiring PR firms to lie to people, the people are healthier”?

2 thoughts on “Trust Me, I’m A Journalist: Trust In The Media Promotes Health

  1. Sepp

    Perhaps healthy people (continue to) trust the mainstream media just by default. The outcome of the survey could be an indication of inertia, rather than choice.

    It would appear that those who are sick tend to soon find out they are being lied to by both the medical authorities and the media, and lose their trust because they are forced to question medical (and media) wisdom if they wish to survive…

  2. Sepp

    So the survey results could be re-stated. Instead of

    “Trust in the media promotes health. A study of people from 29 Asian countries has shown that individuals with high levels of trust in the mass media tend to be healthier.”

    one could also say

    “Trust in the media is associated with good health. A study of people from 29 Asian countries has shown that individuals who are healthy tend to have a higher level of trust in the mass media.”

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