9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P98 - Media observatory on health: against inequalities and for strengthening the fifth power

The idea of a fifth power is starting to grow. It’s about the control of media by society, in contrast with the “fourth power”, which means the control of the establishment institutions by the media or, at least, the classic three powers of democratic regimes.
This paper presents the experience of implementing a “media observatory” with the objective of monitoring the ways by which the media represents the meanings of health. The observatory is intended to generate and suggest, from the analysis produced, strategies of intervention in the media field itself, which might lead to a distribution more equally of the possibilities of circulation of the discourses on health, today monopolized by private interests.
In its first phase, regarded as a pilot one, the observatory focused breakbone fever and the most popular media among the population of Manguinhos, at Rio de Janeiro. These clippings match the parameters of the project “Assessment of Communication in Breakbone Fever Prevention”, developed at the Department of Communication and Health of the Center of Scientific Information in Health, from Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, main educational and research institution attatched to Health Ministry in Brazil.