Changing the discourse about violence: A strategic communication toolkit

To end violence, we need to invest in the communities most affected by violence and the solutions that we know are effective. Doing that requires changing the way policymakers and the public think, talk, and write about violence. BMSG developed this toolkit to help practitioners, advocates, residents, and others frame violence from a community perspective and harness the power of the media to achieve change.

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The Woodhull study revisited: Nurses' representation in health news media 20 years later

Twenty years ago, The Woodhull Study on Nursing and the Media found that nurses were cited as sources in only 4% of health news stories. In 2017, researchers from Berkeley Media Studies Group and the George Washington University School of Nursing's Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement replicated the study and found that nurses remain invisible in health news media, despite their increasing levels of education, unique roles, and expertise.

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Moving toward prevention: A guide for reframing sexual violence

In this guide, developed by BMSG in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we review best practices in framing sexual violence to inform the public about preventing sexual assault. We also highlight ways to communicate with the media, which play an important role in educating the public.

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Media relations toolkit: Engaging the media to elevate sexual violence prevention

This toolkit, developed in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, includes a range of resources to help build relationships with journalists and inform news coverage about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.

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Webinar: Values-based messaging: Using words that work (Sept. 26, 2018)

During this webinar for California Wellness Foundation grantees, held September 26, 2018, Berkeley Media Studies Group discussed best practices for getting messages to target audiences. We addressed why understanding your target's values — and aligning them with your work — is the key to inspiring action. Whether you are seeking to influence decision-makers, reach funders and collaborators, or recruit volunteers, crafting values-based messages should be at the foundation of your communications plan.

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Reading for health: A reimagined, community-driven approach to early literacy in Del Norte County and Tribal Lands

In Del Norte County and Tribal Lands, early literacy is more than a local educational effort. It is a major community-wide cause aimed at improving life outcomes and health. This case study explores how residents, educators, and business leaders are using strategic partnerships, data, and empathy to increase school readiness and to support children's and families' well-being.

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Junk food marketing to children of color: The current reality and what we can do about it – Slides for the field

All children deserve the opportunity to be healthy and thrive, but an all-too-common marketing practice in which food and beverage companies target kids of color with ads for junk food and soda is compromising the health of young African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. In this presentation, we outline the current landscape of junk food and sugary drink targeted marketing, and we share concrete actions that kids, parents, advocates, researchers, and policymakers can take to help hold industry accountable. This PowerPoint slide deck, developed by Berkeley Media Studies Group with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is available for free download, and we encourage advocates and others to adapt and use the presentation to help raise the visibility of targeted marketing as a health equity issue.

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Where we're going and where we've been: Making the case for preventing sexual violence

Helping people understand that sexual violence can be prevented is a critical step toward a future where abuse and assault are rare. And to make the case for prevention, we need to go beyond the scope of the problem and articulate what to do about it. This messaging guide, developed in collaboration with RALIANCE, a national partnership dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation, provides concrete guidance for advocates to build effective messages that highlight the need for prevention.

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Webinar: Values-based messaging: Using words that work

During this webinar for California Wellness Foundation grantees, held August 22, 2018, Berkeley Media Studies Group discussed best practices for getting messages to target audiences. We addressed why understanding your target's values — and aligning them with your work — is the key to inspiring action. Whether you are seeking to influence decision-makers, reach funders and collaborators, or recruit volunteers, crafting values-based messages should be at the foundation of your communications plan.

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From beating the odds to changing the odds: Recommendations for journalists covering early childhood

Early childhood is a critical developmental period because what happens during this time affects health outcomes into and throughout adulthood. How, then, can journalists incorporate complex findings from multiple bodies of science into their reporting to tell a more complete story about early childhood? In this report, we offer recommendations based on a national news analysis and conversations with veteran reporters whose own work on this subject is exemplary.

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Webinar: Elements of newsworthiness and developing relationships with reporters

This tailored webinar for members of the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium focuses on incorporating the elements of newsworthiness into pitches and media events as well as developing relationships with reporters, with a specific focus on health equity and the media markets in San Joaquin Valley.

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Equity arguments in news reporting on school nutrition policy

In 2010, the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) brought a stronger focus on equity to federal policies governing school nutrition. The new policy increased low-income students' access to free- and reduced-price school meals and simplified administrative processes in districts with high proportions of eligible children. But were these details making it into news coverage? We conducted two related studies to find out how the policy appeared in news coverage and to what extent equity-based arguments were present.

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From 'bad apples' to broken systems: How Richmond residents rewrote the narrative on the formerly incarcerated

Residents and advocates in Richmond and Contra Costa County know that to create strong, healthy communities, they have to change misconceptions about formerly incarcerated residents and create a greater public understanding about the need for changes to the criminal justice system. This case study explores how a collaboration of city residents, local and county law enforcement, elected officials, community workers, and, most importantly, formerly incarcerated residents have done just that by creating a nationally recognized reentry network — one that owes much of its success to the power of storytelling.

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Webinar: More than mass shootings: What can we learn from an analysis of California news about gun violence?

When it comes to gun violence, news narratives are dominated by stories about mass shootings and federal policy fights, but day-to-day acts of gun violence — which account for the majority of deaths and injuries — and community level solutions to prevent them are much less visible. In this webinar, BMSG researchers discuss findings from an analysis of how three of the most common types of gun violence (community-level violence, domestic violence, and suicide) are portrayed in California news, and possible implications for journalists and community leaders who want to change the narrative to include hope, healing, and community-level action.

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Ending the school-to-prison pipeline: A case study of community-led disciplinary reform in Kern County

This case study tells the story of how advocates in Kern County, California, succeeded in creating a healthier school climate for students after learning that the local school district was suspending and expelling students of color at much higher rates than white students. Read on to learn how they used a combination of tactics, including community organizing, strategic communication, and legal pressure, to create major changes that will benefit young people for generations to come.  

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Issue 25: More than mass shootings: Gun violence narratives in California news

Gun violence is preventable, but not enough people know that because news coverage tends to characterize it as inevitable and extreme. Stories about mass shootings dominate coverage, even though these tragedies aren't the major cause of gun deaths in this country. How, then, do the three most common types of gun violence — suicide, domestic violence, and community violence — appear in news coverage? And to what extent are solutions discussed? We explored these questions and more in our latest news analysis.

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Healing Justice Alliance communications toolkit: Tools for changing the narrative about male survivors of violence

Trauma is preventable and we, as a society, can and must support our young men of color who are impacted by it, including by changing the public conversation about violence and trauma in our nation. To that end, the Healing Justice Alliance, a partnership between Youth ALIVE!, Cure Violence, the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP), and Berkeley Media Studies Group, created this toolkit to help organizations of all sizes and strategic aims that are working in this space to identify and achieve their communication goals.

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How Monterey County is advancing health equity using a Health in All Policies framework

This case study explores how the Monterey County Health Department is collaborating with partners to elevate the role of health in policymaking, better serve disenfranchised communities, and support the ability of all residents to reach their full health potential.

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Reframing housing as a health issue in Napa County, California

Together with community residents, elected officials, industry leaders, and community-based organizations, the Public Health Division of Napa County's Health and Human Services Agency is working to make housing more affordable for everyone in the county and to reframe housing as a health issue — not just for individuals, but for the entire community. This case study explores how they are using a combination of community engagement, policy change, and strategic communication to push forward innovative solutions to the area's housing crisis.

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Get Healthy San Mateo County: How supporting community leadership can help address the root causes of poor health

Through a collaborative led by the San Mateo County Health System's Health, Policy and Planning Program, residents are working alongside leaders from cities, schools, hospitals, and various county departments to make San Mateo County a healthy place for all community members to live. To understand how the collaborative could serve as a model for other health departments, this case study examines how it is being implemented, highlights challenges, and discusses lessons learned.

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Advancing Health Equity Awards, 2017: Highlighting innovative health equity practice in California public health departments

Along with their community partners, a growing number of health departments are expanding their traditional, service-driven scopes of work and striving to address the root causes of poor health. This series of case studies explores what award-winning departments in Napa, San Mateo, and Monterey counties are doing to eliminate health inequities, examines their successes and challenges, and offers lessons learned.

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Trauma, resilience, and #blacklivesmatter: How do racism and trauma intersect in social media conversations?

Despite the greater burden of traumatic experiences carried by communities of color, communicating about childhood trauma and its connections with race and racism can be challenging. In this report, we present the findings from our analysis of how these conversations intersect on social media and consider the implications for communicating about the intersections of trauma, racism, and racial justice.

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From farm to every fork: Rewriting the narrative on urban agriculture in Sacramento

Advocates and residents in Sacramento are using a combination of policy change, community power-building, and strategic communication to make it easier for people to take part in urban farming. This case study explores their tactics for strengthening access to healthy food, highlights victories and challenges, and shares lessons learned.

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Webinar: What's in a frame: Communicating effectively to get attention for sexual violence prevention

It can be hard to communicate about sexual violence clearly and effectively, and one key fact too often gets lost: Sexual violence can be prevented. BMSG and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center have partnered to explore what it takes to communicate with different audiences that preventing sexual violence is possible — and there are tangible steps everyone can take to be a part of the solution. During this Feb. 15, 2018, web conference, we highlighted key lessons from our latest framing brief; shared real-life examples of what’s worked and what hasn’t; and discussed challenges and opportunities communicating strategically in the current moment.

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Reimagining public space to benefit health and foster community: A case study of Salinas' annual Ciclovía

Each year, public health advocates and youth organizers in Salinas, California, close traffic to a mile-and-a-half-stretch of one of the city's busiest streets, transforming it into a community event filled with physical activity and fun. Known as Ciclovía, the event serves a bigger purpose: to reduce violence, forge community bonds, and promote health equity. To understand how organizers are advancing those goals, this case study explores the origins of Ciclovía, its successes and setbacks, next steps and lessons learned.

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