Narrating from the body: Health and the state of our nation

585e7939e65dI want to start with a lament about how health is viewed by the media establishment. Traditionally, health has been seen as a junior, female beat in South African journalism. Not only is health seen as being a women’s beat, but many newspapers, radio stations and TV channels have a particular view of health (excluding AIDS) as “women’s stuff” that focuses on dieting, vitamins, natural remedies, alternative therapies and how to deal with “family illnesses”.

Yet in newspaper and magazine readership surveys, both men and women consistently indicate their interest in health issues. In addition, “Men’s Health” magazine, which was launched in 1997, claims that it has 292 000 regular monthly readers, 44% earning over R12 000 a month.1 Today, I want to challenge you to look at health differently. I hope to convince you that health offers opportunities to connect with readers of both genders, all races and most religions. In addition, I hope to show how health can be used as a highly effective tool to analyse contemporary South Africa and that narrative journalism often provides an excellent method for telling health stories.

What is health?

Read more here: Narrating from the body.pdf


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