A media agenda-setting study was conducted to measure the coverage of reproductive health issues in a secular country with a dominant religion, using Roman Catholicism and the Philippines as a case study. A content analysis of eighty-one reproductive health stories from January to June 2008 were analyzed for topic, inclusion of Catholic reference (yes or no), and position (pro-life, prochoice, pro-life and pro-choice, or no position). A purposeful sample of newspapers was chosen according to percent readership in the Philippines. Family planning (32.0%) and HIV/AIDS/STIs (16.0%) were the most frequently covered reproductive health topics. The majority of articles were neutral and held no position. Approximately half (50.6%) of all articles included a Catholic reference to illustrate the topic, and when these articles were analyzed further, a slight majority of these stories were positioned as pro-life. Implications of Roman Catholic agenda-setting in the media on reproductive health are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Berry, Nicole
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