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Ongoing project

Health communication regimes (HeCoRe)

Meaning, contest and power

Project period 2016 - 2020
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10161
Project leader Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud

Project Approach

This project explores how the media cover health, illness and medicine, over time and in different countries. Today, media stories on health and illness are omnipresent across multiple media platforms, and never before have we had access to such plethora of information about health.

HeCoRe analyzes:

(i) how representations of health and illness have changed over time, (ii) what characterizes dominant health reporting internationally, and (iii) how the media impact power relations, policies and perceptions of health.

Through thick descriptions and a closely-knit mixed-methods design, the project aims to illuminate how authoritative perceptions of health and illness have been articulated, challenged and changed in the media over time; how different health institutions, interest groups and individuals adapt to, employ and take advantage of ‘old’ mass- and ‘new’ social media; the opportunities and challenges stakeholders face in this hybrid media landscape; and how a current communication regime characterized by personal narrative, conflict and emotions challenge traditional medical hierarchies and knowledge regimes.

Relevant publications

Briggs, C. L., & Hallin, D. C. (2016). Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life. London and New York: Routledge.

Hallin, D. C., Brandt, M., & Briggs, C. L. (2013). Biomedicalization and the public sphere: Newspaper coverage of health and medicine, 1960s–2000s. Social Science & Medicine, 96(0), 121-128. doi:

Hallin, D. C., & Briggs, C. L. (2015). Transcending the medical/media opposition in research on news coverage of health and medicine. Media, Culture & Society, 37(1), 85-100.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Bernard Enjolras Research Professor, Director Center for research on civil society and voluntary sector PhD +47 976 89 237
Nanna Fredheim Research Fellow Master +47 413 01 325
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 951 09 236
Tine Ustad Figenschou (HiOA)
Helge Jordheim (UiO)
Anne Helen Kveim Lie (UiO)
Espen Ytreberg (UiO)
Daniel C. Hallin (UCSD)


  • Helge Jordheim (2017). Zukunft in der Altersforschung des 20. Jahrhunderts, In Lucian Hölscher (ed.),  Die Zukunft des 20. Jahrhunderts. Dimensionen einer historischen Zukunftsforschung..  Campus Verlag.  ISBN 978-3-593-50695-1.  Kap. 8.  s 159 - 178

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  • Tine Ustad Figenschou; Anna M. Grøndahl Larsen & Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2018). Lokal helse og omsorg i mediene: Mediepåvirkning på nært hold. Rapport – Institutt for samfunnsforskning. 2018:9.

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  • Tine Ustad Figenschou; Nanna Alida Fredheim; Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud & Espen Ytreberg (2018). The use of digital and mainstream media lobbying health interests.
  • Helge Jordheim (2017). Aging in the Context of New Lifetimes.

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Tags: Digitalization, Elections and Democracy, Civil Society, Welfare
Published June 21, 2017 9:41 AM - Last modified Oct. 4, 2017 11:18 AM