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HSC23 The Australian Health Sector

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This is a written assignment, students are expected to: Critically analyse the role and power of the Australian media. Its influence and potential impact on culturally safe health care in multicultural Australian society. Please use two media articles 

For the purposes of this assignment, the definition of media is: The main means of mass communication through broadcasting and publishing and the internet (TV, radio, newspapers etc.) that reach or influence people widely.

PLEASE NOTE: Material including cartoons, posters, health promotion YouTube clips, episode from TV series, websites or academic journal articles and government publications are not media items unless they are discussed and cited as a media release or news item.  The online news journal "The Conversation" is also not permitted. 

Articles MUST not be older than 2 years

Please note that only one article MAY relate directly or indirectly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.Please note that the two media items must be drawn from different media sources and whose content links with the concepts explored in the unit. 

Instructions :

1. Critical analysis of the role and power of current Australian media.

2. Identify the influence of the media in relation to culturally safe care.

3. Select two media items ONE POSITIVE (potentially contributes) and ONE NEGATIVE (potentially detracts) and investigate how each demonstrates their potential influence on cultural safety in health care. You must have either a hyper linked or attached copies to assignment. If you don't provide these links or copies, the section with the media item will not be marked. 

4. Support the arguments in the paper with reference to the academic literature, at least 10 refereed publications published between 2008-2018.    You must use at least one reference  from the MODULE.


The Australian health sector has undergone tremendous transition over the past decade. This changes, improvements, developments and challenges could be attributed to the extent to which the various aspects of health have been covered in the media (O’Sullivan, 2012). The nature in which the contents are delivered to the audience has a special way of influencing the reception to various health related approaches. For instance, the continued negative portrayal of a given drug through radio and television installs negative attitudes among the people in Australia.

The three mainstream media outlets which shall form the basis of this discussion include television, radio and newspapers. On the other hand, the discussion shall also highlight the impacts of social media on culturally safe health. The arguments shall be laced with claims and arguments by other researchers on the same topic under study. In a nut shell, this essay seeks to analyze the role and power of media in Australia. The paper also established the impact of the medial portrayals on cultural safety in health care.

Analysis of current Australian Media and its influence on cultural safety in health care

            The media has an extensive array of mandates. According to Best (2014), one of the important roles of media is to inform the members of the public of any developments in the various sectors that directly impact the lives of the people. The media serves as an appropriate platform where the audience gets the much needed information about the changing policies which govern health, the government activities, changes in leaders, environmental changes, variations in economic states in addition to any developments in the socio-cultural world. The media therefore acts as a pivotal link between the outside world and the audience irrespective of their geographical locations. The information which is deduced through the various media platforms can in turn be used by the people to make rational decision in line with various factors.

            Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015) argue that the informative role of the media is essential in driving the achievement of various health care objectives. For instance, the daily television and newspapers news elements which distinctly outline the changing environmental patterns are helpful as they allow the people to make the right decisions which would enhance their safety. Additionally, the media does well in disseminating information about disease outbreaks in various parts of Australia especially in the regions characterized by indigenous cultures.

With this vital piece of information, the members of the society are therefore able to come up with the right measures to ensure their safety from the related infections. The information is also crucial in initiating the right response programs to the affected areas. Through the related government bodies, health services can be directed to the affected areas as an immediate mitigation strategy. To achieve its informative value, the information ought to be laced with the right content with a careful consideration of the various factors related to the target audience. It is the objective of any media outlet to ensure that the messages are clearly presented to the audience.

As outlined by Chenoweth & McAuliffe (2015), the current Australian media has resorted to a vast array of approaches which include the introduction of various media outlets and transmission strategies. For instance, there are indigenous or local radio and TV stations which present the items in a variety of languages. This ensures that the link between the people and the information being passed to them is not hampered by communication barriers. This method also ensures that the information reaches a vast scope of audience which is an essential objective in the media fraternity (Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, 2008).

            As a result of the changing contexts and varying regulatory policies, the Australian media does not only delight in picking any form of information and presenting them to the audience in the raw form. The process of news production involves disseminating the contents and presenting them to the audience in a manner that they can easily decipher. This concept shifts attention to from the role of media to its power especially when it comes to influencing the end contents that eventually reach the audience (Germov & Freij, 2013).  Before releasing the information to the public domain, the contents are passed through editorial processes which may involve removal or addition of subjects into the original piece with the aim of making the content more appealing to the audience.

It is a fact worth noting that the editorial approaches affects the quality of the original material which in way may change the context and meaning of information which eventually reaches the people. The media therefore wields the power to influence the nature and type of information which eventually reaches the audience. This impact may be adverse especially when the contents relayed are less accurate in comparison to the actual facts on the ground.  Since the media has power to influence individual decisions, it is important to ensure the contents are as accurate as possible as this gives room for sound decision making among the audience.

            Happer & Philo (2016) point out that the media does not only inform the members of the public but also plays a front role in educating the audience on various aspects that define the daily human experiences. The media does not only educate the people on the impacts that the new policies may have on their lives but additionally highlights the significance of the various events that happen from time to time. The fraternity has a mandate to enable the audience understand and comprehend the pieces that are transmitted to them. Ventola (2014), links to this claim by outlining that the educative value media has been harnessed by various sectors to relay important information regarding changing policies and the possible impacts of these policies.

For instance in health care, media platforms have been used to inform the public of new health policies, access points to numerous health related services in addition  to the strategies that individuals can put in place to ensure they are covered for future health issues. Through the radio and television sessions with specialists in the related field, the audience is able to interact with and internalize contents which enable them to effectively adjust to the impending changes as a result of the changing policies.  The educative perspective of the media once again reveals the ability of this fraternity to influence myriad decisions. Ivancevich & Matterson (2011) emphasize that the members of the public are highly likely to relate to the contents with which they interact most and also effectively.

It can therefore be deduced that the media has the power to educate the members of the public on a number of aspects which govern operations within Australia. In case the supply of this information is cut, the society is left in the dark and may miss out on core reform activities due to lack of appropriate exposure. The situation is worsened in cases where the geographical obstacles cut people away from media dispensation. Those with appropriate access to the various media outlets which include TV, radio and newspapers are more informed and educated about the changing contexts in the society. The media therefore serves as a powerful tool for educating the public.

            As noted by Jones & Harwood (2009), the current Australian media has been instrumental in providing an appropriate platform on which the members of the public are able to air their views. This implies that the contents relayed by the media should not be divisive but unbiased and objective towards the achievement of core mandates. In order to achieve a multifunctional edge, should not only stay inclined towards giving the society the story as obtained from other sources. The fraternity equally provides a platform which accepts the views and opinions of the member of the society. It therefore creates an interactive environment in which opinions culminate leading to healthy debates which are essential to finding solutions to the emergent issues.

 For instance through the media, health activitists are able to give their views on policies which have proved stringent hence hindering the successful achievement of health care objectives. These grievances are then directed to the relevant authorities through appropriate media channels before practical solutions are recommended and implemented in a bid to mitigate the identified problem. It can therefore be deduced that the media has the power to invoke responses from the government policies and related organizations by channeling to them the views and opinions from the members of the public (Narin, Barnes, Rankine, Borell, Abel & McCreanor, 2011).

Through the media platforms, the members of the societies can identity and highlight the specific practices that threaten cultural safety in health care. The government through the right organs then responds to these claims by establishing effective mitigation strategies.  The media therefore creates a unique platform for the preservation of cultures which in turn has a direct impact on the provision of safe health care.

            Vass, Mitchell, & Dhurrkay (2011) argue that the media also plays adversary and advocacy roles. Based on the contents relayed, the media ensures that the government remains on track in performing its duties while remaining committed to the interests of the public. This is achieved by consistently exposing fraudulent activities, corruption cases and activities involving misappropriation of funds. This functionality has been essential in ensuring that each of the various sectors within the country receives adequate funding. The health care sectors prevail among the fraternities which keep benefiting from the adversarial role of media.

This illustration does not only reveal the power of the media in its ability to keep the government bodies on toes but also its essential role in ensuring that the right culture is maintained when it comes to provision of safe care. Additionally, the media acts a as a market place for ideas. According to Willis & Elmer (2011), as an advocacy rule, the media receives, disseminates and broadcasts information from various viewpoints be it from the social groups, religious organization, political parties or from other government stakeholders.

The various viewpoints create an environment in which various cultures interact with one another in a bid to establish a common ground to the advantage of all the involved parties. In case the issue in contention is a health care related discussion, the media plays a pivotal role in creating a common ground where the various cultural perspectives lead to an array of views which when put together lead to positive impacts on the health care fraternity.

            This item reveals the vital role of the media in disseminating and providing the public with the necessary information which can be essential in guiding their health related decisions. The culture of health care deserves to be preserved. This implies that innovations and developments incorporated into the sector should enhance the quality of service delivery without necessary interfering with the health care culture. The item above does not only reveal the informative role of media but equally points out its educative value and the corresponding influence on the members of the public (Willis  & Elmer, 2011).

Enhancing the efficiency of services provided at the health care centers has a direct impact on the safe care delivery. The item clearly releases vital content to the public which in turn encourages them to subscribe to the new approaches in healthcare delivery. The core theme of the article is the introduction of AI workers, a technological invention which incorporates the use of computers to monitor and regulate procedures within the hospital. This innovation potentially reduces the patient waiting time while enhancing the cultivation of positive patient experiences.

            The item is therefore an indication of the positive contribution of the media in exposing and increasing awareness among the members of the public. In a society that is characterized by multicultural approaches, it would be important to note that the introduction of drone workers is an idea which is meant to benefit every single individual irrespective of their cultural backgrounds (Wilson, Ward & Fischer, 2013). It can therefore be deduced that the media acts as a perfect unifying platform where individuals from various cultural backgrounds are treated to wide variety of important content with precision and impartiality.

The item additionally updates the members of the public on the new developments taking place in the health care fraternity. This therefore allows the people to make the necessary adjustments to fit into these changes and hence ensure their lives are not negatively impacted by the transitions within the industry. Consequently, the media item above reveals the correlation between innovation and the preservation of the culture of safe health care. Right form the past, provision of quality service, minimizing mortality rates and increasing lifespan are the elements which have defined the culture of health care. Initiating technological ideas, as fueled and revealed by the media is therefore an essential strategy likely to keep the quality deliver culture in this fraternity.

            The item which appeared on the paper on 8/10/2018 gives an account of the approaches which have been used in certain sections of the health care sector which have not proved effective enough directing the achievement of objectives. Despite the fact that the media in this case is still fulfilling its mandate to inform the public, this item is more critical and doesn’t present a good picture of the culture of safe care (Vass, Mitchell & Dhurrkay, 2011). The details reveal the challenges that patients endure in the hands of unqualified and unprofessional health care service providers.

The issue on wrong prescriptions and poor drug administration by pharmaceuticals has hit medial headlines in most cases in Australia. The victim in this case might have died due to other causes but the item distinctly points fingers at the rehabilitation center and its management citing neglect and carelessness. The content in this case is potentially destructive. The audience in this case is likely to develop negative attitude towards specific health care services. This item consequently outlines the ability of the media to elicit negative responses from the public which in turn may have drastic impacts on the culture of safe health care.


Based on the arguments and opinions highlighted above, it is clear that the media plays a major role in ensuring that crucial information reaches the people within a society. As noted by McCallum, (2011), depending on the content, these messages may have negative or positive influences on the audience hence revealing the power of the media to manipulate various phenomena within a society. The distinct roles of the media include: information and education of people and provision of a healthy platform where multicultural views are addressed. The media wields the power to determine what eventually reaches the people. It would therefore be important to constantly review the media contents in order to ensure that the messages are not only precise and accurate but also trigger positive responses among the audience.


Best, O. (2014). The cultural safety journey: An Australian nursing context. In O. Best & B.Fredericks (Eds.), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nursing and midwifery care (pp51-73). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.

Chenoweth, L., & McAuliffe, D. (2015). Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice

(4th ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage learning.

Chenoweth, L., & McAuliffe, D. (2015). Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage learning.

Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. (2008, October 23). Community Roadio Broadcasting Code of Practice. Retrieved October 2017, from Community Broadcasting Association of Australia:

Germov, J., & Freij. M. (2013). Media and health: moral panics, miracles, and medicalisation. In J. Germov (Ed.), Second opinion: introduction to health sociology (5th ed.). (pp.337- 355). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Happer, C., & Philo, G. (2016). New approaches to understanding the role of the news media in   the formation of public attitudes and behaviours on climate change. European Journal of Communication, 31(2), 136-151

Ivancevich, J. M., & Matterson, M. T. (2011). Organizational Power Politics. In J. M.Ivancevich, & M. T. Matterson, Organizational Behaviour and Management (pp. 347-   385). New York: McGaw-Hill Irwin.

Jones, S., & Harwood, V. (2009). Representations of autism in Australian print media. Disability and Society, 24(1), 5-18

McCallum, K. (2011). Journalism and indigenous health policy.Australian Aboriginal Studies, 2011(2), 21. Retrieved October 2017,

Narin, R., Barnes, A. M., Rankine, J., Borell, B., Abel, S., & McCreanor, T. (2011). Mass media in Aotearoa: an obstacle to cultural competence. New Zealand Journal of Psychology,   40(3), 168. Retreived October 2017,

O’Sullivan, D. (2012). Justice, culture and the political determinants of Indigenous Australian

Vass, A., Mitchell, A., & Dhurrkay, Y. (2011). Health literacy and Australian Indigenous peoples: an analysis of the role of language and worldview. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 22(1), 33-37

Ventola, C. (2014). Social media and health care professionals: Benefits, risks, and best practices.  Pharmacy & herapeutics, 39(7), 491-499, 520.

Willis, K., & Elmer, S. (2011). Society, culture and health an introduction to sociology for nurses. (2nd ed.). (pp45-65). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Wilson, J., Ward, C., & Fischer, R. (2013). Beyond culture learning theory: What can personality tell us about cultural competence? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(6), 900-927

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