Sundhed på tv: fra læge til sundhedsguru [Health on television: from doctor to health guru]
This article concerns health programs that the Danish public service broadcaster DR produced from the 1990s to 2012. The study is based on a qualitative content analysis of selected health programs and considers the purpose of the programs, their generic composition, and their positioning of the viewer as well as their intention to communicate knowledge about health. The article is theoretically informed by mediatization theory and demonstrates how the medium of television influences the discursive construction of health in factual programming. In the early 1990s, television relied primarily on health expertise from institutions outside of the media, and the programs made use of external experts. Today, the media to a greater extent creates its own know-how experts, who are produced and tailored to the needs of television and the demand for dramatically successful entertainment. This article demonstrates how the early factual programs were dominated by information on illness, medical treatment, and nursing care, communicated by medical experts and laymen. Today’s programs present health as an individual and entrepreneurial project that rapidly changes and improves the individual’s lifestyle and behavior.
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