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Enhancing public awareness on the results of European Health research actions through television media

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Television, bringing health awareness to couch potatoes

Despite unprecedented levels of information out there, the public is still not well informed on current health issues. A European project brings television programmes to the fore in an effort to better inform citizens.


The life sciences and biotechnology are generating unprecedented information on everything from personal health issues to the quality of life in urban settings. Yet for the most part, the citizens remain poorly informed. To overcome this, the EU-funded project 'Enhancing public awareness on the results of European health research actions through television media' (Health-TV) was created. It focused on enhancing and exploiting a TV communication model developed over successive European projects spanning some 10 years. The Health-TV team pulled out key messages from this built-up knowledge base on health issues and developed a number of high-quality video news releases (VNRs) to raise awareness of these issues. The team also sought to encourage the use of audiovisuals to promote health-related research efforts, which can then be disseminated through a well-established medium like a portal that helps to promote European research and innovation. Health-TV also targeted mainstream television broadcasters. Its messages and content reached audiences via 28 national television channels across the globe. Based on its success, the team drafted recommendations to inform future similar actions, including new online media and press services. Raising awareness of health-related issues is vital for Europe to cope with growing pressure on its health services. This makes projects like Health-TV, which helped to deliver sometimes complex scientific subjects to audiences in an easy to grasp and attractive format, invaluable.

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