Science, media and the public - the framing of the bicycle helmet legislation debate in Australia: a newspaper content analysis

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Journal Article
eJournalist, 2011, 11 (2), pp. 125 - 149
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Research challenging assumptions about the value of bicycle helmets and the laws which make them mandatory recently triggered a media debate about bicycle helmet laws and prompted discussion as to the extent to which health behaviours should be legislated. This increased media coverage provided an opportunity to examine how the media frames this issue. A much greater variety of frames opposing helmet laws were identified compared with frames supporting them. The outbreak of debate in the media, and wide range of conflicting perspectives, reveal public uncertainty about the legislation, and reinforce the complexity of this issue for public health policy.
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