Document Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2007

Capstone Advisor

Anne Hettinger

Honors Reader

Melissa Chessher

Capstone Major

Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism

Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component

no

Capstone Prize Winner

no

Won Capstone Funding

no

Honors Categories

Professional

Subject Categories

Communication | Journalism Studies

Abstract

The first women’s magazines date back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Throughout the years, they continue to advise, entertain, and give a voice to women. This paper examines one particular area: health journalism, an area that offers the potential for a substantial impact on readers’ health and lifestyle. This thesis explores the potential impact through interviewing the health editors and writers, as well as the readers themselves. The thesis also profiles a pioneer health writer, Barbara Seaman, whose decades of health writing for women’s magazines served as a catalyst for change on several critical women’s issues. Seaman’s work appeared in several influential publications directed at women, and these magazines emerged as advocates for women’s health at a historically important time—the 1960s-1970s—the beginning of the women’s movement. Overall, women’s magazines push for change and serve as advocates for women’s health, and this was especially true in that time period. The articles that ran in magazines helped sway society on two specific issues: choice in breast cancer surgery and the option of having fathers in the delivery room. Today, magazines include articles on just about every aspect of health: from anxiety disorders to exercise advice. This thesis examines the six issues that pertain to women’s health that women’s magazines helped define and promote: menopause, drugs/pharmaceuticals, sex, diet/nutrition, cigarette smoking, and parenting. Readers take magazines seriously and rely on them to provide accurate and useful health information. Therefore, a cohesive code of ethics for this area was formulated and included in the conclusion.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.