An analysis of health reporting in three South African women's magazines: Fairlady, Sarie and True Love

Mattheyse, Mary (Mary Elizabeth) (2006-12)

Assignment (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Health reporting in South African women’s magazines has not previously been assessed. Therefore, a content analysis of health reporting in three South African monthly women’s magazines, Sarie (S), Fairlady (F), and True Love (T), was carried out from February 2005–January 2006. Total coverage of health issues was analysed, as well as coverage of 11 specific aspects of health, namely: sexual and reproductive (‘Sexual’), men’s, women’s, cardiac (‘Heart’), spiritual ‘Spirit’), mental and emotional (‘Mental’), diet and nutrition (‘Diet’), sport and exercise (‘Sportex’), health-related items not covered by the other categories (‘General’), pseudoscience with regard to health issues (‘Pseudo’) and parenting and child care (‘Parent’). True Love devoted most space to all health items combined (17,7% of total subject material), compared with 13,8% for Sarie and 11,7 % for Fairlady. The top three categories (20,1%, 19,7% and 16,3% of total health coverage) were the ‘Mental’, ‘General’ and ‘Sexual’ categories, respectively. Comparisons of categories among the magazines showed the following trends for the most coverage: ‘Sexual’ (T); women’s (F), ‘Spirit’ (T), ‘Mental’ (S); and ‘Diet’ (F). T was the only magazine to carry articles in the ‘Parent’ category. However, statistical analyses showed that the only significant differences were in women’s (F>T); ‘Spirit’ (F>S; T>S); ‘Mental' (S>F) and ’Diet’ (F>S). The reporting in the magazines was not found to be balanced as regards the emphasis given to certain aspects of health. The most striking imbalance was that no information was given regarding prevention of HIV/Aids, now the leading cause of death in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die mate van gesondheidsverslaggewing in Suid-Afrikaanse vrouetydskrifte is nog nie voorheen bepaal nie. Daar is dus ‘n inhoudsanalise gedoen van die gesondheidsverslaggewing van drie Suid-Afrikaanse vrouetydskrifte, Sarie (S), Fairlady (F), and True Love (T), wat maandeliks verskyn, vanaf Februarie 2005–Januarie 2006. Die totale dekking van gesondheidskwessies is geanaliseer, sowel as die dekking van 11 spesifieke aspekte van gesondheid, nl.: seksueel en reproduksie (‘Seksueel’), mans, vrouens, hart (‘Hart’), geestelik (‘Geestelik’), emosioneel (‘Emosioneel’), dieet en voeding (‘Dieet’), sport en oefening (‘Sport’), gesondheidsverwante kwessies wat nie deur ander afdelings gedek is nie (‘Algemeen’), pseudo-wetenskap met verwysing na gesondheidskwessies (‘Pseudo’) asook ouerskap en kindersorg (‘Ouer’). Gesamentelik het True Love (17,7% van totale onderwerp inhoud) die meeste plek afgestaan aan gesondheidsverwante kwessies, in vergelyking met 13,8% vir Sarie en 11,7 % vir Fairlady. Die top drie afdelings (20,1%, 19,7% en 16,3% van die totale gesondheidsdekking) was ‘Geestelik’, ‘Algemeen’ en ‘Seksueel’ respektiewelik. ‘n Vergelyking van die verskillende afdelings tussen die tydskrifte het die volgende tendense vir die meeste dekking getoon: ‘Seksueel’ (T); vroue (F), ‘Geestelik’ (T), ‘Emosioneel’ (S); and ‘Dieet’ (F). T was die enigste tydskrif wat artikels in die ‘Ouer’ afdeling gepubliseer het. Statistiese analises het egter getoon dat die enigste insiggewende verskille in die ’vroue’ (F>T); ‘Geestelik’ (F>S; T>S); ‘Emosioneel' (S>F) en ’Dieet’ (F>S) afdelings voorgekom het. Daar is gevind dat rapportering in die betrokke tydskrifte ongebalanseerd was ten opsigte van sekere aspekte van gesondheid. Die grootste gebrek was dat daar geen inligting oor die voorkoming van MIV/Vigs verskaf is nie, alhoewel dit bekend is dat dit nou die hoof oorsaak van sterftes in Suid-Afrika is.

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