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Guy Faulkner, Sara-Jane Finlay and Stephannie C. Roy

Background:

News media may play a critical role in disseminating research about physical activity and health. This study examined how much physical activity research gets reported in the media and its prominence and credibility.

Methods:

A content analysis was conducted of the reporting of physical activity research in Canadian national and local newspapers from November 2004 to April 2005.

Results:

Physical activity research was given some prominence and treated as news through the use of several devices to infer credibility. However, newspapers appeared to invest little in the production of physical activity research as news and information about research methodology was infrequent.

Conclusions:

While stories reporting physical activity research were given some prominence and credibility, the lack of significant investment and the limited reporting on research methodology suggests that important aspects of research related to physical activity may not be well represented in newspaper coverage.