This Research & Innovation Doctoral Project brief summarises our priority areas of research interest under the heading of: Exploring the Relationship Between Health Narratives in Cornish Local Media and Regionally Specific Public Health Issues
We welcome all research degree applications aligned with and in response to this brief.
Project brief details
The link between media representations and health issues are well documented at national level, with some excellent reports and campaigns to reduce stigma and improve public knowledge and awareness through considered representation of particular health conditions (particularly evident in the area of mental health). Whilst doing excellent work in promoting awareness of key public health issues in general, national media campaigns simply do not have the scope to address regionally specific health issues.
Poorer, rural counties such as Cornwall face complex issues in health care provision and access. Geographical isolation for patients can be acute, acting as a barrier to already economically stretched health services. Public Health England's Health Profile for Cornwall in 2017 rates Cornwall statistically as 'worse than average in England' for alcohol related harm hospital stays, self-harm hospital stays, incidence of adult obesity and traumatic injury and death from road traffic accidents. Local priorities are identified in the report as reducing smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, excess alcohol, and lack of social connections, particularly as these are seen as antecedents to five the five health conditions (cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, lung disease and musculoskeletal problems) contributing to the majority of deaths and disability in Cornwall.
We invite applications from suitable candidate to research existing local media representations of public health issues across Cornwall and the Scillies, and to explore relationships between local media, health care providers and local communities in the region. Local media in this context would include broadcast radio and TV, print, online and multi-media across regional institutional, independent and hyperlocal providers. What are the dominant narratives and discourses of health in local Cornish media? To what extent do they reflect the material realities of public health problems in the County? Do they provide the potential to inform, advocate for and connect readers into appropriate communities of support?
Candidates would be expected to produce data demonstrating the relationship between a variety of local media platforms and the health of the communities they serve. Outcomes would include detailed mapping of local media networks in the county, and a sustained focus on regional economies and cultures of health against which circulating narratives and their impact on public knowledge can be read and analysed. The project is also likely to include some direct involvement with local communities in order to evaluate the impact of media health narratives on their own perceptions and behaviours. Knowledge gained will have potential to highlight regionally specific health communication needs, and underpin strategies enabling stronger communicative bonds between health care providers, local media, and the communities they serve.
The work will be based in Cornwall, but has broad and significant application across many other UK locations with regionally specific health issues.
Projects deriving from this brief are expected to sit within the following Research & Innovation programme and department(:
|Programme||Inequality & Storytelling|
|Department||School of Communication|
As successful research degree project proposals must emphasise a clear alignment between the project idea and one or more of our Research & Innovation programmes, we recommend that you review details of the programme aligned to this brief before you complete the application process.
How to apply
Apply for a Research MPhil or PhD
We welcome all research degree applications aligned with this Doctoral Project brief.To apply in response to this brief or learn about the application process view:Apply now
Project brief & project proposal enquiries
To discuss this project brief, ideas or project proposal responding to this brief, please contact: Dr Abigail Wincott.
For all other application related enquires please contact the Research & Development team.
T: 01326 255831
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