From January through April 2019, I enrolled in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism course Media Management and Policy, under Professor Susan Leath.
In addition to this coursework, I pursued an independent research paper under Professor Leath’s guidance. My paper below explores contemporary media companies and their various approaches to anti-vaccination movements online. Finally, it explores the history of “vaccine freedom” sentiment as well as conglomerate policies on anti-vaccination content today to form a recommendation for other media companies.
For the full research paper, please download the file below.
In 2017, only 52 percent of those surveyed in the United States correctly stated that vaccines do not cause autism in healthy children, (Ipsos). With the rise of anti-vaccination content on blogs and video-sharing websites such as YouTube in 2019, whether or not parents and legal guardians should have a choice in vaccinating their children has revived for debate. Due to the dire nature of vaccination rates being too low in the United States, as well as mandated vaccination precedent in legislation and policies, our recommendation for media organizations today is to follow in the footsteps of Google and Facebook by re-establishing internal rights to subject content to fact-checking, and even demonetizing or displaying warnings on externally-generated content concerning vaccines.