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Understanding media publics and the antimicrobial resistance crisis

Journal article
Authors Davis Mark
Andrea Whittaker
Mia Lindgren
Monika Djerf-Pierre
Leonore Manderson
Paul Flowers
Published in Global Public Health
Volume 13
Issue 9
Pages 1158-1168
ISSN 1744-1692
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Centre for antibiotic resistance research, CARe
Pages 1158-1168
Language en
Keywords antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial resistance, public communications, public awareness, health communication, expert knowledge
Subject categories Media and Communications, Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) imperils health for people across the world. This enormous challenge is being met with the rationalisation of prescription, dispensing and consumption of antimicrobials in clinical settings and in the everyday lives of members of the general population. Individuals need to be reached outside clinical settings to prepare them for the necessary changes to the pharmaceutical management of infections; efforts that depend on media and communications and, therefore, how the AMR message is mediated, received and applied. In 2016, the UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance called on governments to support intense, worldwide media activity to promote public awareness and to further efforts to rationalise the use of antimicrobial pharmaceuticals. In this article, we consider this communications challenge in light of contemporary currents of thought on media publics, including: the tendency of health communications to cast experts and lay individuals in opposition; the blaming of individuals who appear to ‘resist’ expert advice; the challenges presented by negative stories of AMR and their circulation in public life, and; the problems of public trust tied to the construction and mediation of expert knowledge on the effective management of AMR.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2019-10-16