ROLE OF MEDIA ADVOCACY ON COMMUNITY HEALTH PROMOTION IN IRAN

Health Promotion Perspectives

Volume 1 - Number Supple.1

Article Type: Original Article
Abstract: Introduction: Media advocacy is one of the important strategies and community health education tools we have that allow us to promote population health on the overreaching issues that perpetuate public health problem. In fact, traditional role of mass media as vehicle of public health for public information campaign to change personal behavior customized mass media as a tool to transmit public heath information that lead to passive mission of mass media , while mass media could take an active mission by integrating media as an advocacy tool to change health promotion enhancing policies. Based on the new approaches, the news media, is a primary source of information, play a very powerful role in shaping the public dialogues that eventually form community rules and policies and standards. In other words, media advocacy, used as a tool to accelerate and amplify community organizing and policy advocacy can direct public and policymaker attention to the policies that can reshape our social and physical environments so that people can make healthier choices as well as generate community support for changes in community norms and policies. Materials and Mothodes: Integration of systematic review of literature and assessing mass media broadcasted programs in Iran was applied to illustrate and articulate how media advocacy provoke activities that lead to legislate health promotion enhancing policies? Additionally, we assessed what kinds of community health enhancing programs and messages have produced and broadcasted through media in Iran. Results: It seems TV as main effective media in Iran has determinant responsibility to advocate policy makers. Because of absence of non-governmental TV in Iran and insufficiency of print media to provoke advocacy, governmental TV in Iran is most important media that could help health promotion program through media advocacy. In spite of this capability of Iran’s TV, this media usually report and broadcast the news that policy makers and health mangers oblige to report as their organizations output. Mass media in Iran engaged much more to broadcast public health information and less focused to identify problems as well as problem solutions and policy. Discussion and conclusion: Public health advocates need to be clear about what they want to be happen and news media accelerate this clarification to change policy makers’ decisions. However governmental TV in Iran is known as one of the powerful organization in Iran, but this media organization is not insight to the mission of media to advocate health enhancing policies. In fact, the manner, in which policy makers and the public understand and resolve the problems and challenges faced by communities at the present world, is guided by the quality of information available to them. As a result, Media in Iran must emphasize on information that activate media advocacy toward policy makers instead of reporting health system actions and outputs. Additionally, media must focus on problems that legislation could accelerate community health promotion.