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Completed project

Health communication regimes (HeCoRe)

Meaning, contest and power

Project period 2016 - 2020
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10161 / NFR: 258993
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
Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud Research Professor PhD +47 951 09 236
Espen Ytreberg (UiO)
Tine Ustad Figenschou (HiOA)
Daniel C. Hallin (UCSD)
Helge Jordheim (UiO)
Anne Helen Kveim Lie (UiO)
Nanna Alida Fredheim


  • Tine Ustad Figenschou & Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2020). “Hey there in the Night”: The Strategies, Dilemmas and Costs of a Personalized Digital Lobbying Campaign, In Birgitte Kjos Fonn; Harald Hornmoen; Yngve Benestad Hågvar & Nathalie Hyde-Clarke (ed.),  Media Health. The Personal in Public Stories.  Universitetsforlaget.  ISBN 9788215040844.  Kapittel 8.  s 165 - 185
  • Nanna Alida Fredheim & Tine Ustad Figenschou (2020). Changing priorities, hybrid campaigns: interest groups’ perceptions of gains and risks in the new media landscape. Interest Groups & Advocacy.  s 1- 23
  • Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud & Espen Ytreberg (2020). A Human Interest Economy: The Strategic Value of Turning Ordinary People into Exemplars in the News Media. Journalism Studies.  21, s 1093- 1108
  • Daniel C. Hallin; Tine Ustad Figenschou & Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2020). Biomedicalization and Media in Comparative Perspective: Audiences, Frames, and Actors in Norwegian, Spanish, U.K. and U.S. Health News. The International Journal of Press/Politics.
  • Nanna Alida Fredheim (2020). Life, death or drugs: Actor framing power on the news media coverage of health care policy. European Journal of Communication.
  • Nanna Alida Fredheim (2020). Dancing in the Dark: Source Coordination and Strategic Media Alliances in the Health Field. Journalism Studies.  22, s 96- 113
  • Espen Ytreberg (2019). Control over stories of illness and life: the case of a media participant turned media professional. Nordicom Review.  40, s 37- 48
  • Tine Ustad Figenschou & Nanna Alida Fredheim (2019). Interest groups on social media: Four forms of networked advocacy. Journal of Public Affairs.
  • 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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  • Espen Ytreberg (2019). Hva kan dataassisterte søk si oss om det som har skjedd med norsk offentlig tale om helse og sykdom siden krigen?.
  • Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2019). Sykdom og helse i mediene.
  • Espen Ytreberg (2019). The case economy: making patients cases out of medical patients.
  • Espen Ytreberg (2019). Control over stories of illness and life: the case of a media participant turned media professional.
  • Tine Ustad Figenschou & Nanna Alida Fredheim (2019). Interest groups’ media and social media lobbying.
  • Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud (2019). The Human Interest Economy: Making media cases out of patients.
  • Tine Ustad Figenschou; Nanna Alida Fredheim; Kjersti Thorbjørnsrud & Espen Ytreberg (2018). The use of digital and mainstream media lobbying health interests.
  •  (2018). Personlig sykdom er gull verdt for mediene.
  • Helge Jordheim (2017). Aging in the Context of New Lifetimes.

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Tags: Elections and Democracy, Civil Society, Digitalization, Welfare
Published June 21, 2017 9:41 AM - Last modified Feb. 12, 2021 2:31 PM