Changing the dialogue on abortion
What will it take to create a sea change in how Americans think — and talk — about abortion? To help answer this question, BMSG partnered with the Sea Change Program to examine media coverage of the issue through a new lens — stigma. The results of our research, detailed in "Shaping stigma: An analysis of mainstream print and online news coverage of abortion, 2014-2015," revealed that coverage perpetuated stigma in many ways, including through the frequent use of inflammatory language in quotes and attributions; the lack of firsthand stories from people who have had abortions; and the near absence of unbiased, scientifically accurate information about the safety and prevalence of abortion.
Our research provides guidance to advocates on building relationships with journalists, honing storytelling skills and effectively monitoring the news media.