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Analysis of News Presentation of Academic Research

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Damara93
Words 1054
Pages 5
'Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the Unites States' is a current 2013, peer reviewed research from The American Journal of Public Health. The Objective of the article was to "provide current estimates of alcohol-attributable cancer mortality and years of potential life lost in the United States" (Naimi, 2013). The research contains many methods, sources, discussions, statistical analyses, results, limitations and strengths. After conducting the research, they have found that alcohol is a major contributor to cancer mortality and years of potential life lost as it was approximated at 19,000 cancer deaths, or 3.5% of all US cancer deaths in 2009 and 18 years of Potential life lost (Naimi, 2013). The claim of the article is that alcohol is accountable for 4% of all deaths worldwide and it increases the risk for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx oesophagus and liver. Quantitative methods used were successfully able to clarify the claim of the article thus conducting the results. These methods included using sensitivity analyses based on 2 different methodologies and 2 separate nationwide surveys. Examples of these include: Adult alcohol consumption on data from the 2009 and 2009-10 national alcohol survey. However, one limitation to the methods is that it did not have a leeway for the types of drinks consumed. There is no real ideology portrayed within the academic research due to it being based on pure research and facts rather than people's opinions. However, there is still a slight hint of ideology that the readers develop. By reading this article, the ideology portrayed is that much research has been done on alcohol consumption and cancer related deaths in the US therefore it is bad to be drinking on a constant basis as there are many risks involved. In a recent source from the National Cancer Institution confirms the dangerous effects of alcohol consumption and its link to cancer, "Based on extensive reviews of research studies, there is a strong scientific consensus of an association between alcohol drinking and several types of cancer" (NCI, 2013). In this article it also states the different types of cancers attributed to drinking alcohol and other effects it may have to the body.

Medical News Today has conducted a news report, 'Alcohol Plays A Huge Role In Cancer Deaths In The U.S.', based on the original research in order to inform how alcohol is related to cancer in the US and the dangers that follow. It is a standalone article, however it does draw information from other major studies in order to support the evidence found in the original research. It briefly mentions other newspaper articles referring to studies from Boston University Medical Centre - which claims that eliminating alcohol may reduce risk of oesophageal cancer (Fitzgerald, 2012), as well as JAMA - which talks about the breast cancer risks involved with alcohol consumption (Rattue, 2011). The research is reported in a simple structure with the inclusion of dot points and single sentence paragraphs. It outlines all the basic facts, important statistics and found results. For example it states that "15 percent of all breast cancer deaths may be linked to alcohol. For males, cancers of the pharynx, larynx, oesophagus and mouth appeared to be most commonly related to alcohol intake" (Fitzgerald, 2013). However, the newspaper article excludes the mentioning of Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL), as well as any proper mention of all the authors involved in the original research by only mentioning the lead author, Timothy Naimi. In the newspaper article the ideology portrayed is stronger as it reflects the writers interpretation of the academic article and is written with more biased intentions. The ideology that is portrayed here is that Alcohol consumption is a serious matter. For example in the title alone "Alcohol plays a huge role in cancer deaths in the US" is depicted to be a very strong ideological account that alcohol is deadly.

When comparing the newspaper article with the original research, the article is found to be a fair and non-biased representation of the research. The article is presented in a way that is easy to read for the public and it has done this by using simple sentences and paraphrasing the methods and quantitative data results in a clear and concise way. In the original research a large amount of quantitative data such as surveys, graphs and result tables were presented. This affected the way in which it was reported as large amounts of graphs and tables are not able to be incorporated into the news article therefore having to result in paraphrasing and summarising a lot of the results as well as incorporating direct quotes from Timothy Naimi. The data and facts included in the academic research leaves the opportunity for the readers to interpret the information to form their own ideas an ideologies of the reading. Whereas in the newspaper article is shows more of a bias account as the writer has already formed her ideology of alcohol consumption being a negative thing as it is supposedly a major cause of cancer in the US. The writers, in particular Timothy Naimi, of the academic article hold hegemony over the readers and the news reporters as it is the dominant in this case. With the use of experiments and found results it has the power to influence the mind of the readers to believe that alcohol consumption really is attributed to cancer deaths and years of potential life lost.

Naimi, T. (2013). Alcohol-Attributable Cancer Deaths and Years of Potential Life Lost in the Unites States. Journal of Public Health, 641-648. Retrieved from:
Fitzgerald, K. (2013). Alcohol Plays A Huge Role In Cancer Deaths In The U.S. Medical News Today. Retrieved from:
Fitzgerald, K. (2012). Eliminating Alcohol May Reduce Risk of Esophogeal Cancer. Medical News Today. Retrieved from:
NCI. (2013). Alcohol and Cancer Risk. National Cancer Institution. Retrieved from:
Rattue, G. (2011). Breast Cancer Risk and Low Alcohol Consumption. Medical News Today. Retrieved from:

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